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Published April 02, 2012, 07:07 PM

Fargo family shares tragic story of losing dog to Lyme Disease

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We all know the deep loss felt when a family pet dies. Tonight, one local family shares the story of a much loved Golden Retriever that died from Lyme Disease over the weekend.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

We all know the deep loss felt when a family pet dies. Tonight, one local family shares the story of a much loved Golden Retriever that died from Lyme Disease over the weekend.

Our warm weather this winter and spring could actually be partly to blame for the high number of deer ticks and Lyme Disease cases in our area. Tonight we bring you one family's tragic story of getting treatment too late for a pet.

One look at the family photos and you realize Jake the Golden Retriever was more than just a dog to the Trelstad family. Pete Trelstad says the 9 year-old was family, even greeting customers at Pete's Windshield Doctor shop.

Pete Trelstad – Jake’s Owner: “My son says Jake met more people in Fargo-Moorhead than I have.”

So what a shock a week ago when Pete noticed Jake was off.

Pete Trelstad: “I tried to give him a treat. Normally I get to the shop and they get their treats, and he refused it. So I thought I better bring him in. He was getting skinny.”

The vet diagnosed Jake with Lyme Disease. He only made it a week.

Pete Trelstad: “He went down fast.”

There is a vaccine for your pet for Lyme Disease. While it is not a cure all, veterinarians tell us it does ease complications from Lyme Disease. Local vets also advocate using Frontline tick drops that kill ticks.

Dr. Tammy Ness of Animal Health Clinic in Fargo says more dogs are coming with Lyme. Not just pets going out in the woods or to the lake, but city dogs.

Dr. Tammy Ness – Animal Health Clinic: “It is not we are seeing a lot of sick dogs, but we’re seeing a lot of positives on our routine screens that we say, ‘well, it is out there.’”

Antibiotics given after diagnosis usually do the trick. For Jake it was too late, and the loss still fresh from the weekend, is hard on them all.

Pete Trelstad: “It was tough on him and me and my sons.”

With winter over quicker and spring already here, ticks are expected to be out earlier.

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