Merial Animal Health is supporting the Lake District Mountain Rescue Dogs Association (LDMRSDA) by providing vaccinations against Lyme disease for their rescue dogs.
The LDMRSDA aids in the search for missing people, training specialist dog handling teams dedicated to deploying search dogs primarily in the Lake District mountains and fells.
The dogs work in areas considered to be high risk for Lyme disease, which is the most common tick-borne disease in Europe.
As a result, Merial recognised the importance of vaccinating the dogs to help safeguard them as they carry out their daily duties.
The Merilym 3 vaccine aims to protect dogs against Lyme disease by inducing high levels of antibodies against a key Borrelia antigen.
Claire Edmunds, Merial Animal Health product manager, said: “We are committed to the health and welfare of animals, and to supporting organisations such as the LDMRSDA.
“Working in areas densely populated with ticks, these rescue dogs are at increased risk of contracting Lyme disease. It was, therefore, crucial for us to provide the dogs with this vaccine so they can continue their remarkable work in the Lake District.”
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be passed on to humans or dogs following a bite from an infected tick. In some parts of the UK more than 40% of ticks are infected with Borrelia bacteria.
Clinical signs are generally non-specific and include pyrexia, lethargy and lameness, with more serious cardiac, neurological and renal clinical syndromes also described.
Clair Williams, veterinary surgeon at Oakhill Veterinary Group in Windermere and honorary vet of the LDMRSDA, administered the vaccines and said: “The LDMRSDA is a voluntary organisation that relies on the generosity of public donations and support; this year alone we have attended 35 callouts.
“As our rescue dogs are exposed to areas of heightened risk it is extremely important to protect our dogs against ticks and tick-borne disease.
“We are extremely grateful that Merial has provided these free vaccinations to provide the added protection they need against Lyme disease.”