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Do you know what to look for when you get a tick bite? How would you know if you had a tick bite if you never even saw the tick?

Most people don’t know when they’ve been bitten. This is the reality for Kim Hartson. Many people like Hartson who test positive for Lyme Disease don’t recall being bitten by a tick and fewer than half of people say they had the characteristic “bulls-eye” rash associated with Lyme Disease. Yet, at some point, while Hartson was just living her life and enjoying outdoor activities, she received a tick bite that carried the Lyme Disease bacteria.

Unfortunately, her luck worsened from there. Hartson is part of a group of people who don’t show immediate signs of infection and don’t have the benefit of early treatment. After a long history of unexplained symptoms, a specialist was finally able to correctly identify her source of ailments as Lyme Disease related. Now, she struggles with Chronic Lyme Disease that affects her life every day.

Hartson with her rescue cat Ozzie

“I wish I would have known just how prevalent and devastating Lyme Disease can be,” says Hartson, who is working closely with her physicians to balance her various symptoms which have completely turned her life upside down.

Caught early, Lyme Disease in people can be treated before reaching more advanced stages. Although there is no preventative for Lyme Disease in people, there is good news for our pets: Vaccines and tick preventative medicines are available.

An infected pet cannot transmit Lyme Disease to people, but it could signal the high incidence of ticks in the area that carry Lyme Disease. By referencing forecasting maps at petsandparasites.org, we can better prepare ourselves when going outdoors to know the risks in our local areas for Lyme Disease.

For Hartson, she lives her life in small bursts that the residual effects of Lyme Disease allow. She is pursuing additional treatment for the other symptoms that Lyme Disease has opened the door to, including heart complications, joint, mobility, fatigue, and auto-immune difficulties.

For your pets, see your veterinarian for testing and protection 12 months out of the year.

Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs:

  • No Symptoms initially
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Joint pain, stiffness, or limping

Lyme Disease Symptoms in People:

  • No Symptoms initially
  • Rash or “bull’s-eye” pattern
  • Flu-like symptoms/fever
  • Join pain
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity or vision changes
  • Neurological problems
  • Night sweats or sleep disturbances
  • Heart problems

To learn more and to schedule a consultation, call us at (214) 342-3100

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