Predictions of Lyme disease are especially high this year, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s (CAPC) annual forecast. Although the disease may be slightly higher throughout the U.S., predictions are especially high in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, the upper Midwest and isolated areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Lyme disease occurs when an infected tick embeds itself in your dog or cat. Because ticks can be carriers of many diseases, including Lyme disease, it is essential to protect your pet against ticks and other parasites with a regular monthly prevention all year long, according to CAPC. Your veterinarian can recommend a preventive that meets the needs of your pet and your lifestyle, and you can monitor reported cases by visiting CAPC’s Parasite Prevalence Maps.
To make it even easier to stay updated on these occurrences, CAPC also provides automatic email updates for the maps by county. Click here to learn how to sign up for the updates.
Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, lameness, swollen joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, depression and anorexia. While Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans, a high prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs often may mean a higher incidence of Lyme disease in humans.
In addition to the Lyme disease forecast, CAPC has issued forecasts and prevalence maps for three other parasites this year: heartworm disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Localized forecasting is also valuable if you plan to travel with your dog to a location where the threat may be even higher.
CAPC develops its forecasts in partnership with Clemson University statisticians also responsible for developing the model for severe weather forecasting. The forecasts are based on several factors, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, elevation, forest cover, population density, reported Lyme disease cases and deer strikes with cars. The forecast is also the collective expert opinion of respected parasitologists who engage in ongoing research and data interpretation to better understand and monitor disease transmission and changing life cycles. To learn more Click here.