Pet Connections

Time is Tick-ing Away … Is Your Pet Protected Against Lyme Disease?

By Eleanor Miller, Senior Animal Wellness Coordinator

With the warm weather fully upon us, Animal Friends wants to be sure you have everything you need to protect your pets. Lyme disease can quickly become a serious issue not only for the animals in your life, but for you, too. 

Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing diseases transmitted by insects or other organisms in the United States. As the summer months quickly approach, it’s important to protect your pets against this debilitating disease. Lyme disease is more commonly found in dogs, but your cats, rabbits and other pets are also at risk of contracting it.

Because western Pennsylvania has plenty of densely forested areas and no shortage of wildlife living right in our backyard, it is among the areas where Lyme disease is the most prevalent. As the temperature climbs, larvae that have spent the winter months dormant grow into adults that can transmit Lyme disease through a bite. The tick must already be infected and remain attached for at least 48 hours for transmission of the bacteria to take place.

Once infected, animals may experience intermittent lameness, fever, swelling of joints, loss of appetite, swelling of lymph nodes and lethargy. In severe cases, animals may even experience an acute onset of renal failure. While the symptoms can be managed medically, there is no cure.

The single most important thing you can do for your pet is to prevent Lyme disease by vaccinating. Although vaccines won’t prevent the disease from taking hold entirely, they can help to lessen the symptoms if the bacteria are introduced.

Animal Friends offers Lyme vaccines and flea and tick preventative treatments at our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics. But, don’t wait until it’s too late! Because of the mild winter, flea and tick season is expected to be more severe and arrive sooner. Protecting your pets now could save them (and you!) from a lot of pain and discomfort down the road. 

Vaccine clinics are held every other Thursday right here at Animal Friends. And, we don’t just offer Lyme vaccinations! Starting at just $10, you can also get your pet’s rabies, DHLPP, bordetella, FVRCP and FeLV (just to name a few!) vaccinations as well as microchips at our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics. 

Visit for more information.


December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023


December 12, 2023