Understanding Tickborne Diseases

Understanding Tickborne Diseases

Tickborne diseases are becoming a serious problem in this country as people increasingly build homes in formerly uninhabited wilderness areas where ticks and their animal hosts live. Tickborne diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Most people become infected through tick bites during the spring and summer months.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial disease transmitted by the dog tick, was first identified in 1896. It still exists, although now it can be easily treated. Since then, researchers have identified many new tickborne diseases.

Tickborne diseases can be found throughout the United States. For example, Lyme disease, first discovered in Connecticut in the early 1970s, has since spread to every state except Hawaii.

One of the newest tickborne diseases to be identified in the United States is called Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). This disease has a bull’s-eye rash similar to that found in Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick. Although researchers know that the lone star tick transmits the infectious agent that causes STARI, they do not yet know what microbe (germ) causes it.

Ticks transmit ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, both bacterial diseases. Babesiosis is caused by parasites carried by deer ticks. These diseases are found in several states.

Tularemia, a less common tickborne bacterial disease, can be transmitted by ticks as well as other vectors (carriers) such as the deerfly. Public health experts are concerned that the bacterium that causes tularemia (Francisella tularensis) could be used as a weapon of bioterrorism.

Tickborne disease can usually be prevented by avoiding places where ticks often live, such as dense woods and brushy areas. Using insect repellents containing DEET (for the skin) or permethrin (for clothes), wearing long pants and socks, performing tick checks, and promptly removing ticks also will help prevent infection from tickborne microbes.

Scientists are searching for better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent tickborne diseases. They are also looking for ways to control the tick populations that transmit microbes.

To learn more, go to: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/tickborne/Pages/Default.aspx

What is the rabies risk for my pet?

What is the rabies risk for my pet?

Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat that is not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released.

To learn more, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/pets/index.html

National Pet Identification Week

It’s National Pet Identification Week — the perfect time to make sure you’ve taken every precaution to be reunited with your pet if he or she becomes lost. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently found that only 33 percent of pet parents admitted to always having ID tags on their dogs and cats.In addition to that crucial step, pet owners should also have their furry friend microchipped. Collars with pet identification are accessible to anyone who finds your lost pet. But, tags can become hard to read, and collars can be broken or removed. Microchipping your pet is a method of permanent identification. Microchips cannot be easily misread, and the permanent identification number is tamperproof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable.A microchip is a very tiny transponder that is encoded with a unique identification number. Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder matches that shown on the label of the bar code on the package.

Credit: Web Vet

CAUTION: Lilies can be highly dangerous to cats!

CAUTION: Lilies can be highly dangerous to cats!

Easter is this weekend and we want to remind you about lilies being VERY dangerous to cats. To be safe we recommend that all cat owners avoid lilies altogether, both inside and out. The potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, including Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies. These are all highly toxic to cats. Even small ingestions (such as chewing on the pollen, petals or leaves) can result in kidney failure and death. Some other varieties of lilies are a little more benign: Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs of illness, such as tissue irritation in the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus, which, in turn, causes minor drooling. Much the same as the more commonly recognized danger of poinsettias. Cats that consume any part of a lily require immediate medical care to effectively treat the poisoning. If you see your cat eating, or even chewing on a lily, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Swift treatment and decontamination is imperative in the early toxic stage. Additionally, aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney-function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve prognoses. Please share this important information with all of your cat loving friends.

Check out Beaujolais

Check out Beaujolais! She is a former dog Therapy Client and is staying for a few days in our Kennel!


We like to give her extra walks and loving while she is here!
You could call her a princess!

What is Lyme Disease?

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.

To learn more, go to: www.cdc.gov/lyme/

Sadie the Easter Bunny

Sadie girl loved coming to get her pet therapy and posing for the camera!