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My dog's Lyme test came back positive! What does that mean?

Lyme disease is spread by ticks, and the ticks are out in Minnesota!  Ticks live for many years, and can survive the winter in a dormant stage.  Ticks become active when the ground temperature is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, sotick sometimes ticks will be out even if there is snow on the ground.  Because ticks become active even when it is relatively cold outside, many pet owners are caught by surprise in the early spring when they find a tick on their dog.   Ticks find their hosts by detecting breath and body odors, or by sensing heat, moisture, vibrations, even shadows.  Ticks can't jump or fly, but they are well adapted to finding and latching onto hosts.  Ticks will rest on the tips of grasses or shrubs in a position known as "questing".  In this position, they hold onto the plant with some of it's legs, while having their first pair of legs outstretched, just waiting for a host to brush by.  Although Minnesota is home to several types of tick, it is the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), commonly known as the "deer tick", which can transmit Lyme Disease (as well as other bacteria including anaplasmosis and babesiosis). 


April: The English Bulldog

History of the breed: 

The English Bulldog is typically the most docile of creatures, even though the history of the breed is quite gruesome and dramatic. english bulldogMia by esther matheusFirst mentioned in the literature around 1500, the bulldog was bred to fight bulls in the “sport” of bull baiting.  Bull baiting entails setting loose dogs onto a tethered bull and making wagers over which dog could grab the bull by the nose and pin it to the ground.  This “sport” is not only cruel to the bull, but many dogs were also severely maimed or killed during the process.  Thankfully, bull baiting was made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835.

Originally, the breed was selected for its ferocious and savage temperament, as well as its stocky body and massive head and jaws.   After bull baiting became illegal, the bulldog outlived its usefulness as a working animal, and the breed evolved to become more of a companion.   In time, the original English Bulldog was crossed with the pug.  The outcome was a shorter, wider dog, with a brachycephalic skull--a short skull and “pushed in nose."  Today’s bulldog could not withstand the rigors of running and being thrown by a bull, and also could not grip with such a short muzzle and extended lower jaw.  

According to American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, the English Bulldog is now bred to have a disposition that is “equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and the demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior."

Health Concerns: Although one of the best breeds of dog as a family pet, the exotic look of the English Bulldog predisposes it to a whole host of health problems.  If there is one breed of dog in which owners would be wise to purchase health insurance for, it would be the English Bulldog.


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Westgate Pet Clinic provides veterinary services to the Edina and Minneapolis area.