Half of U.S. states report 500-plus Lyme positive dogs - DVM
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Half of U.S. states report 500-plus Lyme positive dogs

DVM360 MAGAZINE

LAS VEGAS— New data suggest that nearly half of the states in this country reported 500-plus Lyme positive dogs between 2001 and July 2009.

As might be expected, states in the Northeast and the upper Midwest — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan — remain at greatest risk for Lyme disease. Other states like Florida, Texas, Nevada, California and Oregon remained in the 500-plus category.

The release of the data has led to a collaboration between IDEXX and Merial to sponsor April as Prevent Lyme Disease month. Another interesting finding is that veterinarians practicing in Lyme-endemic areas may experience up to 73 percent of dogs testing positive for Borrelia burgdorferi infection.

According to cumulative statistics recently released by IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., nearly half the states (23) in the United States reported 500-plus Lyme-positive dogs between 2001 and July 2009. No state is free from the disease. An additional seven states logged between 251 and 500 Lyme-positive dogs. As the fifth year of April as Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month approaches, Merial reports that the designated month serves as a reminder to continue Lyme education and to have at-risk dogs vaccinated.

Dogs showing clear clinical signs are observed only in 5 percent of infected patients (Levy, et al, JAVMA 1992; 200:344-347). Clinical signs include limping, lymph-node swelling, fever, loss of appetite, painful joints and general lethargy.

The Lyme campaign encourages veterinarians to consider these facts:

  • Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi occurs following the attachment and feeding of the black-legged tick. Transmission occurs typically after ticks have remained attached for greater than 48 hours or longer.
  • Veterinarians practicing in Lyme-endemic areas may experience up to 73 percent of dogs testing positive for Borrelia burgdorferi infection.
  • Based on experimental studies, experts believe many dogs never get rid of the Borrelia burgdorferi infection, even with antibiotic therapy.

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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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