Chicago Veterinarian Warns About Lyme Disease Increase in Dogs

Veternarian recommends vaccine and tick prevention medicine

Several Chicago-area veterinarians say they've seen a rise in Lyme Disease cases in dogs.

Dr. Amanda Schnitzer, owner of Companion Animal Hospital River North, recommends that dog owners take two steps: give their dogs oral tick prevention medication, and get them vaccinated.

"They should all receive [the] Lyme Disease vaccination as well," Dr. Schnitzer said. "Because, again, why not use everything to prevent a disease that can never be cured?"

The vaccine for dogs consists of a shot, then a booster shot three to four weeks later. Dogs will then get shots every year after that.

Alex Fisher, one of our NBC 5 colleagues, has a 6-year-old Dutch Shepherd, Shaw, currently being treated for Lyme Disease. 

Shaw tested positive for the disease during his annual heartworm test and, not long after, began having trouble moving his back legs. 

"It was heartbreaking," Fisher said. "It was the hardest thing I had to watch with him."

Shaw contracted the disease despite being given flea and tick prevention medicine.

Fisher, Shaw's owner, is now sharing his story in hope of helping others.

“I think it’s important that people make themselves aware of what to do," she said.

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