Welcome!

News Feed Item

Disease-Carrying Lone Star Ticks and Related Disease on the Rise in Alabama

Parasite is an Aggressive Biter that Poses Risks to Pets and People

WESTBROOK, Maine, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Historically considered a southern and south-central U.S. parasite, the lone star tick is creating increasing concerns for pets and people in Alabama. This tick, known for the white, star-like spot on the backs of the female, is an aggressive biter and can transmit diseases such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to dogs, cats and people.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130829/CG71500LOGO)

"Lone star ticks become more and more widespread every year," said Michael Dryden, DVM, PhD, distinguished professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine who is considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on ticks that infect dogs and cats.

Recent data shows increasing cases of tick-borne diseases like ehrlichiosis in Alabama. According to IDEXX Laboratories, veterinarians have reported more than twice as many cases of canine ehrlichiosis in Alabama to date in 2013 (205) as they did for the entire years of 2011 and 2012 (80). Records show that 1 out of every 53* dogs in Alabama tests positive for ehrlichiosis (*as of Aug. 1, 2013).

Some cases, however, go unreported, and many infected dogs go untested. Taking that into account, the nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council estimates these figures represent only about 30 percent of the actual incidence of ehrlichiosis in Alabama, where people also are at risk.

Ehrlichiosis is a blood cell infection that can lead to joint pain and lameness. Canine symptoms may not be obvious and include loss of appetite, lethargy and reluctance to move. If left untreated, the disease could progress to a chronic infection that lasts days, months or even years – often without showing any symptoms.

"The lone star tick is a very aggressive tick, and it actively seeks out people and pets to feed on," said Michael J. Yabsley, MS, PhD, F.R.E.S. (Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society), associate professor at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. "It's one of the most common ticks that people find on themselves and their dogs, so everyone should take precautions – especially in the new areas of invasion."

Parasitologists like Dryden and Yabsley say the reason for the lone star tick expansion, which began about 25 years ago, is multi-faceted and complex, citing such factors as milder winters, suburbanization and the proliferation of white-tailed deer and wild turkeys – common hosts for lone star ticks. With deer and turkey populations increasing and spreading and more people moving closer to woodlands and wildlife, conditions are conducive for lone star tick proliferation and interaction with domestic animals and their owners.

Ticks, including the lone star, are most active in the spring. It's important, however, to remain vigilant year-round about protecting dogs from ticks. They go dormant during the winter but don't die – even when there's a hard freeze – and they can come out to feed on mild days.

"By the time you notice ticks on dogs, it's often too late," said Dryden. "All it takes is one bite."

Even if pet owners use tick preventives, infections can still occur if owners' mistime or forget an application or dose. The two most common pathogens the lone star tick can transmit to both animals and humans are the causative agents of ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). RMSF symptoms include arthritis-like stiffness and neurological problems. If not treated early, both diseases can become chronic and even result in death.

While it's difficult to tell if a dog has a tick-borne disease, veterinarians can screen for them. They recommend testing annually for these diseases, which usually can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

People who want to learn more about how to protect their families and pets should consult their veterinarians and www.DogsAndTicks.com, a helpful website with information about tick-bite prevention and tick diseases – including how prevalent some of them are in their own neighborhoods. Since early diagnosis and treatment are keys to longer and higher-quality lives for dogs, the online resource also teaches people how to recognize difficult-to-distinguish signs of infection, how to properly check for ticks and remove embedded ticks.

The veterinarians and veterinary parasitologists who support and develop content for www.DogsAndTicks.com are committed to educating pet owners about the prevalence and risks of tick-borne diseases. The website does not endorse any individual product but serves as an informational source, with tools that include interactive prevalence maps for tick-borne diseases based on diagnostic screenings from across the country.

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., is a global market leader in pet healthcare innovation, helping practicing veterinarians around the world advance medical care with a broad range of diagnostic products and services. IDEXX created www.DogsAndTicks.com as a resource for pet owners.

SOURCE DogsAndTicks.com

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across supply chain networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost and time for product recall as well as advance trade. Are you curious about Blockchain and how it can provide you with new opportunities for innovation and growth? In her session at 20th Cloud Exp...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...