FBR is sharing Cleveland’s story for Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month in April. Animal research and testing has contributed to treatments for and prevention of many diseases such as Lyme disease present in both humans and animals. Cleveland is happy and healthy. Enjoy his story!

The Shelter Dog Who Grabbed My Attention

It was Friday, March 30, 2018. I was on my lunch break and decided to look at dogs on Petfinder.

I entered my filters and up popped a handful of dogs, including Cleveland, a brindle Mastiff/Great Dane mix. Being a die-hard Cleveland sports fan, his name instantly grabbed my attention.

And my love for Mastiff breeds knows no bounds, so I decided I would go meet Cleveland the following morning. That Saturday I arrived at the shelter as soon as they opened. I was taken out to a giant fenced in play yard, and one of the volunteers brought Cleveland out to me. I was instantly in love!

Animal research and testing has contributed to treatments for and prevention of many diseases such as Lyme disease present in both humans and animals. Photo: Amanda Sparks

Flea and Tick Preventatives Work!

In front of me was a tall, lanky, slobbery dog with the sweetest eyes I’d ever seen. While I spent time loving on Cleveland, the shelter volunteer told me Cleveland had been found as a stray. When he was brought into the shelter, he was 62 pounds and was infested with fleas, ticks and just about every worm you can imagine.

One of the shelter volunteers spent hours picking off bloated ticks after multiple baths to help get rid of all the fleas and flea dirt. After a month at the shelter, Cleveland had put on 30 pounds and was rid of his parasitic “friends” thanks to a flea and tick preventative treatment (and the tireless work of the shelter volunteers).

Some dogs aren’t as lucky as Cleveland and they contract tick-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. These diseases can require prolonged treatment and can be fatal if left untreated.

Some dogs aren’t as lucky as Cleveland and they contract tick-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Photo: Amanda Sparks

Research Benefits Animals and Humans

Animal research has allowed for the development of medications to not only treat these diseases but to also prevent tick infestations for pets. This is not only important for our pets’ health and well-being but also to prevent the cycle where these diseases could be transmitted to humans. (ALSO READ: Animal Testing Saved My Son’s Life: Corbin and Marshall’s Story)

Needless to say Cleveland came home with me that Saturday morning. He now enjoys the good life at 180 pounds all the while thinking he is a lap dog. He loves watching the Cleveland Browns (his namesake) play on Sundays, annoying his feline “brothers” Pip and Maestro, spending time outside and going for long walks at our local park.

And I love that we don’t have to worry about bringing any of his old “friends” home with us thanks to animal research and a monthly tick preventative.

Amanda Sparks is a senior animal health technician at The Ohio State University. Amanda shared the images of Cleveland living his best life. Donate to FBR today to fund more FBR Real Pet Stories.

This story is sponsored by: Gary Borkowski, DVM, MS, DACLAM.
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