Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lyme Disease And Cats-Guest Blog By Heather Reynolds Of Trupanion

 Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing pet insurance company. Trupanion offers a simple, customizable pet insurance policy with no payout limits and 90% coverage of veterinary bills. Enrolled pets receive lifetime coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if they get sick or are injured, with no incident, annual or lifetime limit.

April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month and while it’s true that Lyme disease affects dogs more than cats, it certainly does not mean that cats are immune. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in cats so you can do your best to prevent or treat it in your beloved feline.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. These ticks are more commonly found in the spring and summer months, so now is the perfect time to get educated, especially if you have a cat that spends time outdoors.

The most common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in cats include:

  • ·         Walking stiffly, possibly with an arched back
  • ·         Sensitivity to touch
  • ·         Difficulty breathing
  • ·         Fever
  • ·         Lack of appetite
  • ·         Depression
  • ·         Swollen lymph nodes

An infected tick must be attached to the pet for at least 18 hours before transmission of the disease occurs. So, as long as ticks are found immediately and disposed of, the cat should be in no danger. However, cats are notorious for not showing symptoms, even if they are infected. If you know your cat has been bitten by a tick and you suspect the tick was there for quite a while, it’s beneficial to take your cat to the veterinarian regardless of symptoms.

When it comes to Lyme disease, prevention is key. Here are a few tips:

  • ·         Administer tick preventative regularly. Products such as the Preventic collar, Advantix, Frontline, and Revolution will either kill the tick or cause it to drop off the pet before it causes damage.
  • ·         Cut or mow grassy or overgrown areas regularly to prevent an infestation.
  • ·         Closely examine your cat after he or she has spend time outdoors to detect embedded ticks.
  • ·         Safely remove ticks if found. Place fine-point tweezers around the tick as close to the pet’s skin as possible, and gently pull until the tick detaches. Disinfect the bite site and the tweezers after removal. Place the tick into a small container for later examination by a professional.

Treatment for Lyme disease can be quite expensive, depending on the severity of the case. Trupanion covers this treatment as long as all preventative care advised by the cat’s veterinarian was followed and the first signs and symptoms did not appear prior to the cat’s full policy coverage.


  1. Phew! We're all totally indoor in this household. Thank God. purrr...meow!

  2. thankfully these problems are now of the past thanks to new preventatives like Frontline.

  3. Thank you for this. As a human who has been diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, I know only too well the effects of not being correctly diagnosed.

    In the UK incidences of Lyme in humans, let alone animals, has reached epidemic proportions. So I would say to all to be very careful when removing ticks both from your pets and yourself. My friend who lives just up the road nearly died from Lyme just last year and the tick didn't even attach to him, but he did get the tell tale bulls eye rash!

    It is estimated that in the UK about 1in 4 ticks carry the disease.

  4. (2) of our cats had been indoor/outdoor at one time, now just indoor --however, we always used Frontline flea and tick, and never found a tick embedded in any of them.

    I was diagnosed with Lyme disease though, and believe the ticks came in on top of the cats fur and got in the bedding. Fortunately, I was treated early and though I got very sick, I've been doing well.

    Great topic for this time of year.

  5. Thanks for sharing the tips and I'm sure they work the same for the dogs too. I've heard of Lyme Disease and it can be a deadly disease so prevention is the cure here!!!

  6. Thank you for this important post. Since I do get outside on a leash in the summmer, this is an important reminder for M to inspect me when I come back in the house.

  7. @Cat-from-Sydney, Cody is too but I often worry because Dakota goes out. I don't give Cody flea meds...do any of you with indoor cats and dogs who go out use flea meds on your cat?

    @Mario you are most welcome. I agree. Does your Mom use flea meds? I never did when Bobo used to go out on a leash.

    @Priscilla you are welcome! Yes prevention is very important! Thanks for your comments about the office! We love it!!

    @Diane, Wow! I am soooo sorry!! How long did it take for you to get better? Didn't Kathie Lee Gifford also have Lyme Disease at one time? I am so glad you are better!

    @Carolyn OH MY!!! Both you and Diane had it! OMG I can't imagine how that is! You poor thing! Thank you for the important info because we have a lot of readers in the UK! Are you better or do you still have it?

    @Au and Target, well, yes and no. I became more alarmed when I read about Carolyn and Diane!

  8. Great tips, we follow most of these with the dogs, too.

  9. It's a long story, Caren!! I have ME/CFS. Maybe the Lyme caused it, who knows? I developed quite a few conditions that end in "itis". Neuroimmune problems etc.

    Blogging about Austin and his buddy keeps me sane lol xx

  10. What a great post and so important! I live in Norther MN and we get a lot of ticks in a damp year. Even though my kitties don't go outside they still can get ticks from the dog when he goes in and out so I am always checking. Caren, I know you are an award free blog, but a friend and I made a new "no hoops" award and I have picked you as a winner just because you and Cody are winners. :) No need to do a thing with it (thus the No Hoops part), just wanted you to know I was thinking of you. Hope you had a great Easter!

  11. Lyme disease is awful! Mommy watches us carefully when we is out and she checks us when we come in. Ticks are not to bad where we live. the cold kills them, but they lives on the deer and the only time wes seen them has been when the deer have been around. Thanks for this great post! Mommy is going to get us Tick collars!

  12. @Bailey, thanks so much for stopping by. You are right, these tips must be followed with the doggies too!

    @The Cat From Hell that is very good that your Mommy watches so closely because she should. Let us know what you think of the tick collars

    @Coupon Queen first, THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! I will be over later to check it out! Thank you for understanding and for thinking of me!! It means soooo much that there are "no hoops" involved!! Yay! Also...thank you for the heads up about the ticks. Cody doesn't go out but you made me more aware that I must be diligent in checking him out as well. Thank you!! Hope YOU had a wonderful Easter!

    @Carolyn OMG I am sooo sorry! What do you have to do for it? Is there something that can be done. I feel so bad! (((((hugs)))))

  13. Boy does that sound yucky, thanks for the great information!

  14. Some years ago, my dear sister-in-law had Lyme disease. It took quite a while for her to be diagnosed. Then she endured 2 or 3 years of shots to heal her. She really suffered with it.

  15. So pleased you're sharing this important info.
    Having come to care for feral cats I'm learning so much about cats diseases/cures/treatment - each little peace of info is invaluable.

  16. Excellent post, very informative. Ticks are yucky, and all the more reason to keep the kittehs indoors!!

  17. Hmmm. Yet another reason that indoor life is not so bad--along with the foods and the toys and the blankets and stuff!

  18. Thanks for the great information & my mom person wants to thank you for sending her the article about anxiety!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  19. @Scrappy Grams, I am so sorry! That had to be awful for your sister. I am shocked at the number of people I am hearing about that have that awful disease!

    @Oskar you are welcome and your "Mom person" is welcome!! :)

    @Spitty yep you got it!!!

    @Julia yes, Heather always does a great job! Thank you!

    @Gods Little People I am so glad that I am lucky enough to have guest bloggers who can be of help. Thank you!