We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria is transferred from the tick to the host via the tick bite. The disease was first noticed in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975 when there were several people effected; hence, the name Lyme disease. It can affect several hosts, such as cats, dogs, horses, cattle, deer, rodents and people.

The most common tick to carry Lyme disease is the Ixodes Scapularis aka the black-legged tick. The Ixodes Pacificus (Western Black Legged Tick) and Ixodes Ricinus (Castor Bean Tick) can also carry Lyme disease. The latter is only in Europe while both black-legged ticks are in U.S.A and Canada. Due to changes in our weather, we are noticing ticks further north, and they have a longer season. Ontario and Southern Manitoba have the highest cases of Lyme disease in Canada, while South Quebec and the Maritime provinces have fewer cases. In BC there are very few cases which are due to the type of tick we have here. The Western Black Legged Tick is less able to carry the Lyme disease. The Black Legged Tick is more apparent in Central and Eastern Canada and are more likely to carry the Lyme disease bacteria.

The tick will quest for a host. It will travel to the tops of long grass, thick brush, marshes and the wood, looking for a host. It will extend its front legs ‘reaching’ for the host. Once it finds a host, it will travel to a spot where it will be able to feed (bite you or your pet).

Once a tick has bitten you or your pet, the tick needs to stay attached to its host for 24-48 hours in order to transfer the bacteria. Once the bacteria are in the bloodstream, it travels to different parts of the body. It can take up to five months for the host to show symptoms of the disease. The symptoms could be lameness, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, stiffness, swelling in joints, and sometimes shifting lameness. In severe infections, you may see kidney failure, cardiac and neurological disorders.

In order to confirm Lyme disease in your pet, the veterinarian will need a history (including travel times and location), physical exam (to see the clinical signs) and blood work (to test for antibodies). Depending on how far the infection has gone, there may be x-rays and hospitalization involved. Treatment for minor infections is straight forward, antibiotics for about 30 days. Larger infections may need fluids, hospitalization, aggressive antibiotics and other medications.

Preventing Lyme disease on your pets is easy. A flea and tick preventative medication will prevent the tick from passing the bacteria, like Bravecto or Nexgard. If you are taking your pet into the woods, always check them for ticks after the exposure. For humans wearing long clothing and tucking pants into socks will prevent the tick from being able to find the skin to attach itself. Make sure to check yourself after being exposed.

Removing ticks can be tricky sometimes. Make sure to pull the whole tick out gently, a twisting motion is best. Once removed, make sure the head of the tick did not get left behind. If you are not comfortable removing the tick yourself, you can always bring them to the clinic, and we can lend a hand.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 604.463.7100 for more information.



Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Thursday, March 26, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 604-463-7100. We will have a Veterinarian take a history on your pet and discuss any concerns. Then a staff member will meet you outside, to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time. However, if you're unsure whether your pet needs medical attention, please call us to discuss your situation.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
With recent operation changes, we have decided to close for lunch daily between 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm. This closure ensures our staff gets a much-needed break and a chance to reorganize orders, clean and catch up. Thank you for your understanding!

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. When you come to pick up your order, do not enter the hospital, please call us 604-463-7100, and a staff member will bring your order outside. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. Our current promotion offers delivery FREE OF CHARGE.* To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this disease.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Alouette Animal Hospital

*Local delivery only - Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows