July 22 2020 11:44 AM

Nearly 200,000 positive cases of Lyme Disease confirmed thus far in 2020

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Whether bringing up cattle, accompanying us during barn chores or enjoying a walk outside, our trusty dog is always by our side. That’s why it is important to consider that if your dogs are not protected, more time outdoors could mean heightened risk for tick bites and disease. Nearly 200,000 cases of Lyme disease have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this year, and summer temperatures continue to climb, making for thriving tick environments. However, it isn’t too late to offer dogs protection against harmful Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading for crucial disease information, from transmission to tick prevention.

How is Lyme disease transmitted?
Within only 36 hours, an attached tick carrying the Lyme disease bacterium can transmit the disease to its host.

Can dogs transfer Lyme disease to people?
While the disease is zoonotic, meaning the illness affects both animals and humans, you can rest easy knowing Fido cannot give you Lyme disease, and vice versa. Lyme disease is transferable only from an infected tick bite.

How common is Lyme disease?
The number of canine Lyme disease cases is increasing, with 359,461 cases confirmed in 2019, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

What are common symptoms?
Lyme disease can go undetected for as many as five months before signs become recognizable. Common symptoms your pet could present include swollen joints, decreased activity, loss of appetite, fever and kidney failure. Lyme disease can be fatal.

Where is the disease most prevalent?
Reported in humans and animals across the country (and across the world), Lyme disease is most prevalent in the southern New England states, eastern Mid-Atlantic states, the upper Midwest – most notably Wisconsin and Minnesota – and northern California.

What are the best prevention methods?
Trusted tick prevention products can help ensure your pet’s protection against ticks and tick-borne diseases. Proven brands of tick collars can detach up to 100 percent of attached ticks on your dog within just 48 hours, and some even offer eight months of protection, repelling and killing both ticks and fleas. There also are effective topical treatments to protect dogs against ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies and more.

If your dog spends extended periods of time outside playing, hunting or herding livestock, your veterinarian might recommend your pet be vaccinated against Lyme disease. Whenever possible, avoid areas where ticks are most prominent, such as the forest and grassy areas. Remember to check both yourself and your dog for ticks, to prevent both of you from the risk of harmful disease transmission.

To learn more about flea and tick prevention for dogs, please visit veterinarian-founded, veterinarian-owned, Valley Vet Supply.