For Dog Owners
Dogs love playing outside in areas where ticks are commonly found such as yards, leaf piles, trail edges, high grass, and wooded areas. Just like humans, dogs can get a tick-borne disease. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, and Ehrlichiosis have all been reported in dogs in Virginia. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) monitors Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis in dogs in the United States by state and county level. A trends analysis of CAPC's data shows a steady increase in both testing and positive cases. From 2012-2021, dogs testing positive for a tick-borne disease (Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis) more than tripled in Virginia, reaching close to 75,000 in 2021. This trend will likely continue as tick populations increase and expand geographically. Ehrlichiosis has been the most common TBD in dogs in Virginia, reaching almost 40,000 in the state in 2021 (39,651), with an exceptionally high number of cases in Bedford, Virginia (over 2,000 in 2021).
Tick-borne Diseases in Dogs in Virginia
Ehrlichiosis in Dogs in Central Virginia Counties
The Companion Animal Parasite Council reports that only 30% of the dogs diagnosed with a tick-borne disease are likely reported, meaning close to 250,000 dogs could be affected each year in Virginia. Tick-borne diseases in dogs can be fatal; thus, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Pet owners, have your dog treated monthly and use tick collars. In addition, check your dog for ticks often, especially after being in tick-infested areas. If you find an attached tick, carefully remove the tick by pulling it straight out, and then save the tick by putting it in a small bag with note of date, time, and where removed from your pet. Monitor your dog's symptoms and then take them in for testing if you notice them acting or feeling differently. Luckily, TBD testing in dogs is generally common and veterinarians will often test early, unlike many medical professionals and human testing.
Be extra diligent with tick checks if your dog sleeps with you or cuddles with you on the couch. In patient experience studies, several people reported contracting their illness from their pet bringing the tick inside the house.
Companion Animal Parasite Council
Insect Shield Repellent Clothing for Pets
Insect Shield sells insect repellant clothing for pets. Insect Shield Repellent Apparel is EPA-registered and repels ticks that can carry dangerous tick-borne diseases. Choose from dog blankets, pet clothes, bandanas, and other accessories. Insect Shield gear has been proven and registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and flies. The repellency of Insect Shield gear that can be washed lasts through 25 washings.