58,000 U.S. dogs have Lyme Disease in 2020 thus far.
Almost 360,000 dogs tested positively for Lyme Disease last year out of 7 million tested dogs. Lyme Disease is the most popular type of tick-borne illnesses spread from animal to animal. It causes long-term harm to the body in dogs as in humans, other companion pets and wildlife. There are methods to reduce the risk of Lyme Disease in dogs. Here's what pet owners should know:
Ticks are found in grassy and wooded areas where they latch onto a warm-blooded mammal for their food source. As long as temperatures remain above freezing, people and pets are put at risk for tick bites as they travel from spring-fall in search of food. While not all ticks carry Lyme Disease and other painful tick diseases, it is not worth the risk to go untested. White-tailed deer are the number one carriers of ticks in the United States; and for homeowners with high amounts of deer traffic on yards, one can assume that ticks are being dropped by these wild animals, putting dogs at risk during outside playtime.
To reduce the sight of ticks on landscapes, pet owners must fence out deer and other wildlife. A 6' foot high fence is the shortest height required for wildlife exclusion on lawns and gardens.
In addition to fencing, pet owners will need to be proactive in grooming pets and searching for ticks on the body of their companion animal. Ticks like to hide in the fur of dogs and are most commonly found in:
- In and around ears;
- Underneath collars;
- Underneath tails;
- Toes (more common in dogs than cats)
- Groin Area
April is Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month; and pet owners are encouraged to protect their pets from Lyme Disease by regularly grooming pets; knowing how to remove a tick from the skin with proper tick removal tools (not fingertips or lighters!); and taking domestic animals to the vet, if necessary.