According to a recent study conducted by Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, the deer tick population has increased significantly and is affecting more dogs and their owners. What's more, the study found that one-third of the tick population in the Giles and Pulaski counties of Virginia tested positive for Lyme disease. While this study concentrated on the local Virginia area, it may be indicative of rising numbers across the country.
Dr. Mark Freeman of the Small Animal Clinic at Virginia Tech told WVTF, "Humans and dogs are coming into more and more contact with wild species that are carrying the organism, so based on what we’re seeing clinically with more and more cases, is that the organism is spreading and becoming more of a problem in the environment and in the population."
Dr. Freeman's postulation was more on the money than he realized. The CDC just released a study that declares that Lyme disease incidents have risen by 320 percent from when they were first reported back in 1975. What's more is that it's now showing up in states and counties where there had never before been reported cases of it. While certain states (like Connecticut and Massachusetts) have been at "high risk" for Lyme disease since the early 1990s, the area of concern has now grown to almost all of New England. This means if you live in or are visiting these areas with your dog this summer, you should be aware of how the disease is contracted and ultimately treated.
How you (and your dog) can get Lyme disease
Signs your dog has Lyme disease
If a human has Lyme disease, a rather obvious bull's eye mark will form around the initial bite. This may occur before any other physical symptoms manifest.
Treatment of Lyme disease in dogs
If your vet suspects and diagnoses your dog with Lyme disease, the treatment is quite simple.
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