2013 Lyme Disease Forecast

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) predicts the threat of Lyme Disease for dogs will be extremely high this year. See map of northeast published by CAPC. This recent notification was just sent to the veterinary community (June 18, 2013), although other organizations have notified us previously. This prediction is based on many factor which include: increase in reported cases of Lyme Disease in humans and dogs, outside temperature, precipitation, humidity, population density, deer population, and forest cover, and evidence that some of the previously used popular topical medication for tick prevention have lost their effectiveness. There is strong evidence that ticks and even fleas have the capability of developing resistance to products that are used repetitively. That is why the CDC recommend we alternate products or use newer products on the market available to veterinar ians. The topical products plus vaccination is the best way to protect your dog. Prevention is the best medicine. The newer vaccines that protect your dog against Lyme disease have proven to be safe and effective. Don’t forget, dogs can bring ticks into the house which can get on you. Slight lameness is one of the earliest signs we see in dogs with Lyme disease. It can progress to lethargy and loss of appetite and even further progress to swollen joints, pain and even kidney disease. The CAPC recommends, along with the Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) that all dogs and cats get year-round parasite-control medications. This requires topical and oral 1 x each month preventative medications readily available from your veterinarian.