Lyme Disease Still on the Uptick

Every year during the third week of March clients call in to alert us that they are suddenly seeing ticks on their pets. Given the mild winter of 2019, there have been tick sightings throughout the past three months, but now the tick hatch out is upon us.

In addition to the mild winter, the fall white oak acorn production was well above average leading to booming populations of white footed mice and chipmunks. These small mammals are an important host for Lyme disease carrying black legged deer ticks, so we can expect and prepare for more ticks and more Lyme disease exposures this spring, summer, and fall. Ticks that transmit the other tick-borne diseases, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis, will be a problem as well.

Western Pennsylvania is recognized by the CDC as having the most new cases of human and pet Lyme disease in the United States.

In spite of years of Lyme related Newsletters and many of our clients treating their pets for ticks year round, we still saw that one in five of our clients’ dogs tested Lyme positive in 2018.

I can’t stress enough how small those deer ticks are — see the white cat picture above! If that were a black cat, or a dog or cat with even a medium length hair coat, you would never see a deer tick!

We encourage everyone you know with pets to immediately treat their pets with one of the recommended Tick and Flea products listed below that will kill ticks within the required first 24 hours to prevent transmission of Lyme bacteria. Because some pets are incubating Lyme disease and not showing symptoms yet, it is recommended to test your dog’s blood for all the insect-borne diseases, which include Lyme, Heartworm, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma, – all in one test.

For Dogs we recommend monthly Advantix topical, the eight month Seresto Collar, or the new monthly, rapid-killing oral Credelio. Several of these products feature rebates from the manufacturer and are available at PSVC.

Also for Dogs, there is a multi-valent Lyme vaccine available that requires two immunizations the first year, a month apart, then an annual boost thereafter.

For Cats’ ticks and fleas, we have topical monthly Catego and the eight month Seresto Collar (rebate). New this year is monthly topical Revolution Plus (rebate), an all-in-one product for Cats that kills Ticks, Fleas, Intestinal worms, Heartworms, Ear mites, and other mites and lice. To control only fleas on Cats, there is still monthly Advantage topical.

Please call our Staff with any parasite prevention questions.

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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