As ticks advance, pets face danger - Dr. Marty Becker

As ticks advance, pets face danger

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Deer TickTicks carry diseases — nasty ones. They can infect us, and they’re also infecting, sickening, and killing our pets in growing numbers.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) reports that Lyme disease is spreading aggressively beyond its established hot spots on the coasts, particularly New England.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a warning on the growing incidence of disease-carrying ticks in suburban backyards.

The incidence of the disease anaplasmosis, carried by ticks and long endemic in the Northeast and Plains states, is predicted to rise this year in the Pacific Northwest, Upsate New York, Indiana, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Another tick-borne disease, ehrlichiosis, is also predicted to be on the rise in all its endemic areas, including California and the Southeast, with high danger expected in Oklahoma and Eastern Texas.

What’s going on? Climate change may be a contributing factor; so may be the spread of human housing into wildlife areas. Whatever the reason, pet owners need to understand the risks, realize they change all the time, and talk to their veterinarians about the best way to protect their pets from these diseases.

Fortunately, the CAPC doesn’t just have great information on diagnosing, preventing, and treating tick-borne diseases. It also has a number of simple tools, including an interactive map, that let you check on the risk to your pets in your area for tick-borne diseases.

You can also sign up to get updates by email.

Use the map, and sign up for emails alerts, here: http://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/

And remember, as these diseases are on the rise in your area, your veterinarian will be seeing more cases. Talk to him or her about how to protect your pets!