Healthy Living

Lyme Disease: The Top 10 Questions

Can you get Lyme disease from a dog, fleas, or bed bugs?

Can you get Lyme disease from a dog, fleas, or bed bugs?

Most people get Lyme disease from the bite of an immature form of the tick which is called nymph. These nymphs are around the size of a poppy seed (less than 2 mm) and are hard to see. The nymphs feed during the summer and spring months. Many individuals do not know they have been bitten because these ticks are so small and their bites are actually painless. Adult ticks can also pass on Lyme disease bacteria; however, they are far larger in size and are more likely to be discovered and be removed before transmission of bacteria takes place. These ticks are usually most active during the colder times of the year.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium, is spread through an infected ticks bite. Ticks can attach themselves to any area of the body and are often discovered in hard-to-see places such as the scalp, armpits, and groin. In most cases, the ticks have to be attached to their host for 36-48 hours or longer before the bacterium of Lyme disease can be transmitted.

Dogs and felines can contract Lyme disease but there is no evidence that indicates that either animal can pass the disease to humans directly. However, it is possible for pets to bring infected ticks into the yard or home.