Unfortunately, no tick vaccination protects the dog from parasite infestation. However, there is a Lyme disease vaccination designed to protect your dog from one of the most common infectious diseases transmitted by ticks. The problem with this is: Vaccination against Lyme disease is controversial. Read what it’s all about here.
Estimates by the Robert Koch Institute assume that about every fifth tick in Germany carries Lyme disease pathogens, which can also be dangerous for dogs. Borrelia is bacteria that cause illness with fever and acute or chronic joint problems.
The danger for the dog: Ticks transmit Lyme disease
In Germany, there are three different subspecies of Lyme disease bacteria. Two of these are relatively harmless, but the third subspecies can infect your dog. The Borreliosis vaccine is still effective against all three subspecies.
This is how the Lyme disease vaccine works.
Vaccination for dogs ensures that the four-legged friend forms antibodies against the pathogens transmitted by the tick. As soon as the tick sucks blood from the dog, the antibodies are transferred to the parasite, and the pathogens are killed while they are still in a tick. A tick vaccination can therefore be reasonable protection against Lyme disease.
Possible side effects of Lyme disease vaccination
All veterinarians do not unreservedly recommend the Borreliosis vaccination. Some dogs that have come into contact with these pathogens and have subsequently been vaccinated have developed a sometimes life-threatening kidney infection. However, the veterinarian can use a quick test to check whether your dog already has Lyme disease or has survived an infection.
If he is acutely infected with Borrelia, antibiotics can kill the pathogens. A Borreliosis vaccination may then be possible. The usual side effects are then comparatively harmless. Rarely, there may be slight swelling at the injection site or a brief fever. It is best to talk to your veterinarian about whether or not he recommends vaccination for your dog.
Repel ticks as a protection against diseases
Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other diseases for which there is no vaccination – TBE (tick-borne encephalitis), for example. Whether you have decided to have a Lyme disease vaccination, good protection against ticks is always helpful. There are spot-on preparations or collars for this – your veterinarian can advise you on this.
Also, check your dog thoroughly for ticks after the walk – the sooner they are removed, the lower the risk that they have transmitted Lyme disease to your dog.