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Pet owners be careful! Your cats and dogs might be passing ticks on you

Your pets might be infested with ticks, that can make you seriously ill!

India TV Lifestyle Desk Written by: India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi Updated on: July 08, 2017 15:56 IST
ticks lyme disease
Ticks in cats and dogs can cause lyme disease

There are a number of pet lovers in the world, who shower their unconditional love on their pets. And why not? After all, the love and happiness you receive in return from your pets are worth everything. But blinded by love, are we welcoming serious diseases to us? Apart from love and warmth, the pets are also passing their tick on to you. A report suggests that owning a cat or dog can double the chances of you finding a tick on yourself. Let us remind you, these ticks can expose you to tick-borne diseases like Lyme. 

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease which is spread to human when they are bitten by an infected tick. The symptoms include a very distinctive rash. This disease is said to affect 2000 to 3000 people in UK every year, according to Public Health England. The numbers are expected to rise. Lyme disease is caused by a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. 

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Ticks can’t jump or fly. But they transfer to your body or clothes when you rub yourself against something that has them on. It can also bite you when you walk barefoot on grass. The condition is very difficult to diagnose. 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The early symptoms of the disease include fly-like symptoms like fever and muscle spasms. Most common symptoms of Lyme disease are headache, body pain, fatigue and joint pain. Some people might fain burning or tingling sensation in skin along with a stiff neck. 

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But there’s one symptom that gives away the lyme disease. Look out for the sign. The most common and obvious sign of lyme disease is a skin rash that looks like a bull’s eye target. It will be around 12 inches in diameter and can take around a month to appear. The skin will become red and the edges are bumpy and red. However, the size of the rash can vary significantly and might take weeks to expand. One in three people don’t develop the rash at all. 

Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is diagnosed by a blood test but it could take up to eight weeks to be detected in the blood. The treatment can be prescribed based on the symptoms alone. It is not contagious. In case you contract lyme disease, the duration of infection will depend on the time when your treatment started. Earlier the diagnosis, better the treatment. 

How to prevent Lyme Disease? 

The simplest way to avoid the disease is to avoid going to wooded or bushy areas with high glass and leaves. Use appropriate repellents on skin and clothing as well. Check for ticks on body after coming back. 

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