ST. JOSEPH, Mo., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the summer months upon us, Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are on the rise in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tick-borne diseases are increasing, with human cases expected to exceed 300,000 annually1.
Veterinary experts agree pet owners should be on high alert this year, as the threat of disease expands geographically and companion animals are progressively more at risk of coming into contact with ticks and Lyme disease.
"Although some regions continue to be considered endemic with greater levels of exposure, and some regions have a low risk of exposure, Lyme disease-infected dogs have now been found in all 48 contiguous states. There are many diseases spread by ticks and our dogs can get more than one at a time. With more ticks in more locations, we're finding that more of these diseases are being transferred to our dogs," said Mike Paul, DVM. "Due to climate change and wildlife coming further into suburban environments, ticks are really a huge problem throughout all of North America. Pet owners need to understand that ticks pose a serious threat."
The CDC has singled out Lyme disease in people as the most common and fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the country. Due to increased numbers of ticks in recent years, Lyme has become a growing concern for veterinary practitioners and dog owners2.
As the tick population increases, it's vital that pet owners are educated on Lyme disease dangers for canines. Pet owners should visit LymeInfo.com, an enhanced website featuring up-to-date information on canine Lyme disease, clinical symptoms, disease transmission, risk factors, tick-specific data and how pet owners can prevent the spread of disease. LymeInfo.com also provides education on Lyme disease prevention, including vaccines and tick control.
"With an increasing number of ticks across the U.S., the very best approach for every dog is prevention. Since there is an effective vaccine for Lyme disease, it is advisable to prevent this disease rather than to rely on treating infected animals," said Carrie White, DVM, DACVIM, Internist at VCA Family Animal Hospital in Pearl City, Hawaii. "Disease prevention can save pets and their owners a great degree of financial and emotional distress."
Make Lyme-disease prevention a priority for your dog, and visit LymeInfo.com for more information on Lyme disease in your area.
1 Lyme Disease Association
2 Steven Levy, VMD. Use of a C6 ELISA Test to Evaluate the Efficacy of a Whole-Cell Bacterin for the Prevention of Naturally Transmitted Canine Borrelia Burgdorferi Infection. Veterinary Therapeutics, Volume 3. No. 4, Winter 2002.
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