Focus On: Lyme Disease, Washtenaw Veterinary Hospital, May 18, 2018Pets infected with Lyme disease may not show signs for 2-5 months and then the symptoms can be very vague. Typical signs can be mild or severe and include fever, lethargy, swollen joints, intermittent lameness, and loss of appetite. This disease can be treated with an extended course of antibiotics, but prevention is always the best option. Dogs and outdoor cats should be kept on flea and tick prevention unless there is snow sticking to the ground (and hopefully we’re done with snow for a while!).
Heartworm, Lyme Disease Forecast Looks Gloomy, American Veterinarian, April 19, 2018The number of Lyme disease cases in humans has tripled over the past 20 years, and the disease continues to rise in prevalence among our furry counterparts. But while infection in dogs occurs more commonly in areas with dense populations of ticks—New England, along the East Coast, and in the upper Midwestern and West Coast states—the CAPC predicts that non-endemic areas will start to see a rise in Lyme disease cases. As the white-tailed deer population grows across the country and migratory birds carry ticks from endemic to non-endemic areas, pet owners and veterinarians need to be prepared.
Rendered Waste Ingredients Far More Serious Risk, Dogs Naturally, Jan ?, 2018This new study found something different. This study took several prion disease strains – including the BSE strain that causes the human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer – and infected mice with these strains. Under the former belief system, the mice would not have contracted mad cow disease or chronic wasting disease. For mice that lived beyond 500 days, a “small minority” showed detectable prion disease in the brain. However, almost all of the mice (after death) showed positive evidence of prion disease in the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, and other gut-associated lymphoid tissues. The barrier of protection that one species has had to another species prion disease was crossed. The mice did indeed obtain prion disease from other species; the disease was found in the lymph nodes, spleen and other tissues of almost 100% of the research mice.
Dogs Can Be Vaccinated Against Lyme Disease. Humans Can’t., Mother Jones, Sept 27, 2017Lyme disease—notoriously difficult to spot and treat, and diagnosed in about 300,000 Americans every year—had a vaccine, but it’s no longer available to the public. The immunization you can now give your puppy is essentially this original vaccine. It’s hard to say exactly how many dogs contract the illness; by some estimates, a quarter of dogs in endemic regions have Lyme disease; others put that figure between 41 and 73 percent. Cats can get it, too. Many believe a Lyme vaccine [for humans] is needed now more than ever; according to one study by the CDC, the number of counties with a high incidence of Lyme has nearly quadrupled since the mid-’90s. And researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that Americans shell out up to $1.3 billion per year to treat it.
Which diseases have been confirmed in your neighborhood?, Dogs and Ticks, 2017. Maps are available for all regions of the United States and Canada. Because so many dogs go untested for tick-borne diseases, the actual number of dogs infected by ticks is likely many times higher than reported figures.
From Facebook, May 18, 2017, Abigal Way, Ann Arbor MI 48103
Holly just got home from her annual visit to the Vet. I was surprised to learn her blood work revealed a tick-borne disease other than Lyme disease: anaplasmosis. Ticks, a pox on you! It is on the rise here in tick country so, my dog-loving friends, I share this info. This is especially surprising since in the three years I have had Holly, to my knowledge I have never seen a tick on her! Little creeps. She is asymptomatic, so I just need to watch it for now.
Anaplasmosis, Dogs and TicksCanine anaplasmosis comes in two forms. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an infection of the white blood cells that’s transmitted by the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick. These are the same ticks that transmit Lyme disease, which increases the risk of coinfection with anaplasmamosis. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets. The other form, Anaplasma platys, is an infection of the blood platelets that can lead to bleeding disorders and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Although these two forms of anaplasmosis present with different signs, both pose a threat to your dog’s health.