Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease (Borreliosis) is an infection caused by bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted by deer ticks and can infect many different animals, including dogs, cats, and humans.

How does my pet get Lyme Disease?
An infected female deer tick can cause an infection when she bites and feeds on your pet. Currently, there is a bit of a disagreement as to how long the tick must be feeding before your pet can become infected, but it can range from 5 to 50 hours.

What happens once my pet is infected?
It can take quite a while before an individual starts to show symptoms of the disease (some individuals never show any signs). Once infected, the bacteria move through the bloodstream and ends up in areas of the body such as joints, muscles, tendons, skin and the heart. Once there, the bacteria cause an immune response, which in turn causes lameness, fever, and pain.

How do I protect my pet?
The only way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet. There are many different types of prevention you can use, including sprays, collars, powders, topical treatments, and pills. There are tests your veterinarian can run to check for Lyme disease, and regular testing is recommended in areas where deer ticks are found. If we can catch infections early, we greatly increase the chances of successful treatments.

What other things can I do to help my pet?
In places where deer ticks are present, avoid areas with long grass/dense vegetation and perform daily checks looking for ticks on your pet. If you do find a tick, remove it as quickly as possible in a safe manner if you are uncomfortable removing the tick, or do not know how – take your pet to your veterinarian. Also, there is a Lyme vaccine available that will help protect your pet.

Talk to your vet, they are trained to assess your pets individual risks and needs and will recommend the best preventative measure for you.

Written by: Elgin Animal Hospital



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Last updated: December 23, 2021

Dear Clients,

With the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in our region, we are temporarily moving back to curbside service, with no pet parents in the building during appointments. Our top priority here at Elgin Animal Hospital is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community. Our goal is to remain open in order to provide necessary care for your pets. In order to do this, we need to keep our team healthy and do our best to minimize exposure.

Here is what you can expect:


  • When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 519-631-0430 to let us know you are here
  • Our Reception Team will let you know when we are ready for you, and ask you to come in the appointment door
  • A staff member will meet you just inside the vestibule to take the patient into the hospital for their appointment
  • Our Veterinarian will communicate with you via phone call - so please be sure to bring your cellphone to your appointment!
  • We have payment over the phone for credit cards, or a portable debit machine can be brought to the vestibule if needed
  • Food & Medication Pick Up

  • Will continue safely via the food/med pick-up door Come in the door on your right -- no need to call when you arrive
  • We are highly recommending our clients sign up for myVETstore for purchasing food for their pets
  • We also ask that you please call in your pet's medication & food refills 3-5 days in advance as we are experiencing some shipment delays once again
  • These measures are temporary and we will reassess as time goes on. We are constantly analyzing our day-to-day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up your prescriptions or food.

    Together, we can all help in stopping the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at (519) 631-0430. Please note that we are receiving more calls than usual. We apologize for any delays that you may experience when reaching out to us.

    - Your dedicated team at Elgin Animal Hospital