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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » The Borris files: Canine and Feline LD information

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Author Topic: The Borris files: Canine and Feline LD information
Melanie Reber
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Good afternoon all,

I began collecting these articles after losing my dog to LD a few years ago.

These represent various points of view, and while I agree with most of the information below, there are a few myths hidden here as well. So, please read with caution.

My hope is that this combination of information will be of help to others who are now searching for answers to their canine and feline LD issues.

Thanks to www.LymeInfo.net for finding most of these and continuing to pass on great information to us all.

My best to you and your furry friends,
Melanie

[ 07-05-2009, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Melanie Reber ]

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http://www.news24houston.com/content/headlines/?ArID=30680&SecID=2
News24
Houston TX
Pet Zone: Protecting pets from ticks
6/14/2004 6:24 AM
By: Brette Lea

They're out lurking in the woods, bushes and grass -- one of the horrors of summer.

Ticks are invading early this year, and 2004 is expected to be a record year.

"Places you're going to look for -- up around the ears [is] one big area ticks go for, underneath their neck, underneath these nice, dark hidden places, on their feet," Dr. Craig Prior says.

Ticks can hide anywhere, and they can cause the same diseases in pets as humans.

Since 1990, the number of Lyme disease case in humans has nearly tripled, and pets are more susceptible than we are.

But just looking for ticks isn't enough. In fact, nearly 70 percent of cases where pets are diagnosed with tick-borne diseases, the owner never saw a tick.

Dr. Prior says prevention is the key with products like Frontline.

"You can almost liken it to a scotch guard effect," Dr. Prior says. "It just sticks to the skin and coat, and kills fleas and ticks.

There are products for cats and dogs, but one is not necessarily safe for the other. In fact, the misuse of flea and tick products is a leading cause of summer time pet poisonings.

"Not just your pet getting ill, but those ticks your pets bring into the house can then get on you," Dr. Prior says.

Ticks

Keep your pets and yourself safe from ticks and the diseases they carry.

When you're shopping for tick repellent, keep in mind some products for dogs contain permethin, which can be fatal to cats.

Make sure you consult with your vet if you have any questions about what kind of tick repellant you should use on your pets.

And if you want to know how bad ticks are going to be in your neighborhood this year, go to www.tickalert.com.

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http://www.drschoen.com/articles_L2_10_.html
Lyme Disease: Fact from Fiction
Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., M.S.

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. There is much that is known about it, but also a tremendous amount that still is unknown. There are many varied opinions regarding symptoms, diagnosis, vaccination controversies and treatment options. Where I live, there are horse barns I visit where almost every person, horse and dog have contracted Lyme disease. It is epidemic. Being in the middle of such a hotbed, I have seen many diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that have and have not worked. Today I will share my opinion on this debilitating disease. Lyme disease is caused by an organism known as a spirochete and named Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted by tick bites. It has been found worldwide and in ancient Chinese medical literature they actually describe a syndrome very similar to Lyme disease, thousands of years before Lyme, Connecticut was named! In the United States, more than 90% of the cases occur in the Northeast, with California and Missippi second. It is fairly common in dogs, but rarely seen in cats, although I have seen some cats with it.

The main clinical signs include a sudden yet recurring lameness that may shift from leg to leg. Sometimes this lameness is associated with a fever and depression. Occasionally you will see swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes the joints may be swollen, warm and painful and they usually walk stiffly with a hunched back. Animals with Lyme disease really look painful and stiff and commonly are very sensitive to touch and may cry out with even the slightest touch. I have seen dogs that were diagnosed with slipped discs in their neck and crying in pain and it was actually lyme disease causing muscle spasms in the neck and they only improved when they were administered the appropriate antibiotic. Sometimes you will see the classic red round target lesion around a tick bite on your pet and within a few days they may show the signs of lameness, fever and sensitivity to touch. I saw this on my own golden retriever and within a few days he woke like a stiff 90 year old man that could hardly make it to his food bowl. I immediately treated him and he improved within twenty four hours.
If your pet is not diagnosed and treated immediately, the disease can spread to the heart, kidneys and the nervous system including the spinal cord and the brain, showing signs associated with these organs. The organism has been found in connective tissue, in joints, muscles and lymph nodes. It is one nasty bug! Besides these classic symptoms, how can your veterinarian diagnose it? If suspicious, it is very important to run a special blood test called a Lyme titer. Now, there are two types known as the Elisa test and the western blot test. My particular preference is to run the western blot test. It may take a bit longer to run, but I find it much more accurate. It is not uncommon that the Elisa test is negative and your dog still has Lyme disease. If your dog or cat or horse has many of the symptoms of Lyme disease and the test is negative, do not be fooled. I still recommend treating the animal aggressively with antibiotics. Often, I will not even wait for the test to comeback to treat my patient if enough of the symptoms are present to suggest Lyme disease. Believe me, I like to be as natural as possible and use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, but this is one time when they are needed fast! Often times the response to appropriate antibiotics is quite rapid. In horses, I have developed an acupuncture diagnostic exam that I have found to be as diagnostic if not better than the standard laboratory tests and I will be publishing on that shortly.

Lyme disease has often been nicknamed the great imitator. This is because many of the symptoms can mimic symptoms of many other diseases because it can affect so many different organ systems. I remember one gordon setter puppy I saw and the first symptom of Lyme disease that showed up was lack of appetite and an arrhythmia in the heart that I picked up on my exam. It only got stiff and lame three days later. Fortunately I knew the heart problem wasn't there a few weeks prior on a normal exam and was suspicious of Lyme and we treated it successfully and the heart problem resolved. When considering Lyme disease as a possibility, one must also think about other tick-transmitted diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever or canine Ehrlichiosis. Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, other joint diseases as well as kidney failure or heart problems from other causes need to be considered as well.

What is the best treatment? As I mentioned previously, this is one place where I feel strongly that immediate antibiotic therapy is imperative. It appears that doxycycline and amoxicillin seem to be the best antibiotics against Lyme disease. I suggest staying on antibiotics for a minimum of a month, sometimes even longer. I have seen dogs that were only on antibiotics for two weeks and then it comes back with a vengeance and does not respond as well afterwards. A holistic approach would also include using probiotics such as acidophilus to keep the healthy bacteria alive in your pets gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it has been found that the organism can actually further suppress the immune system. So I usually recommend nutritional and herbal support to boost the immune system as well. This would include echinacea and garlic as I have mentioned in previous columns of the Healing Arts. Sometimes I see chronic Lyme disease in a dog or cat and I will also use acupuncture to boost the immune system and relieve the pain and inflammation. Homeopathic remedies have also appeared to be helpful. The most successful of these incltloong@interport.net ude homeopathic Ledum and a Lyme nosode. Lyme nosode is a homeopathic remedy that is made from the killed organism, diluted, successed and potentized to the point that nothing of the original organism remains. For appropriate dosages of these remedies, you should contact a homeopathic veterinarian.

As far as prevention goes, this is a sticky wicket. There is a great deal of controversy concerning the dog Lyme vaccine. There is a great debate about how well they actually work as well as potential side effects. There are publications concerning its safety, but the researchers only look 24 hours after the vaccine reaction. Research at Cornell University veterinary school brings up some suspicion that there may be potential long term side effects of the vaccine, though nothing is certain. These side effects may vary from rheumatoid arthritis and all the major symptoms of lyme disease to acute kidney failure. Though nothing is definitively documented, I personally am very cautious and do not recommend vaccinating for Lyme disease even though it is so epidemic here. Many veterinary schools and major veterinary centers do not recommend the vaccine for the same concern regarding potential side effects. I have seen all the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs four to eight weeks after the vaccine and when I sent the western blot test to Cornell, it shows no evidence of the disease, only evidence of the dog having been vaccinated, yet the dog shows all the classic symptoms of the disease. There is a new dog vaccine out that claims that it does not have any of the side effects, however, I still remain cautious and will wait for a year or two to see. I personally would rather treat my dog for Lyme disease rather than risking the potential side effects of the vaccine. In addition, there is a question of actually how well it works. Until more safety and decreased risk of side effects and efficacy are demonstrated, I recommend holding off.

The best prevention still is checking your dog carefully and removing any ticks at least once a day. Collars do not seem to work that well, although some of the topical insecticides do seem to work well, but then one has to weigh the potential toxic effects of these insecticide from the beneficial effects of preventing ticks. Again, I tend to compromise and only use the topicals during the greatest incidence of tick usually in the spring and fall. It is all a balance! Keep your pets away from tick infested areas, check them daily and stay healthy and happy and tick free!!

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Wausau Daily Herald
Wausau WI
Sun, Jun 13, 2004
Lyme disease infects pets, too, experts warn
By Rick LaFrombois
Wausau Daily Herald
rlafromb@wdhprint.com

Deer ticks are abundant following a wet spring, and although many people wisely take precautions to protect themselves, experts say pet owners shouldn't forget Fido.

Dogs are much more likely to contract Lyme disease than humans because dogs spend more time nosing around in underbrush and wooded areas where deer ticks thrive, said David Weld, executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation.

Ticks can also hide in dogs' fur, unbeknownst to the dogs' owners.

Cats, on the other hand, rarely get the disease because they groom ticks off their bodies before the ticks have a chance to feed on their blood, said Heidi Prast, a veterinary technician at Rockwood Hospital for Pets in Merrill.

Despite daily checks and monthly applications of topical anti-parasite oil, Mike Crowley's dog, Gandalf, a long-haired collie mix, got Lyme disease more than a year ago.

One day Gandalf was fine. The next, he could barely get off the floor, Crowley said.

"He just didn't have that gleam in his eye ... and he didn't have any leg strength, he would fall right over," Crowley said.

The disease, named in 1977 when arthritis was found in a cluster of children in and around Lyme, Conn., can cause arthritis and lead to heart, neurological and joint problems if left untreated.

The illness is caused by bacteria, and a two-week antibiotic treatment returned Gandalf to normal.

Since deer ticks re-emerged in March - they're less active when there's snow on the ground - Rockwood Hospital has treated a steady influx of dogs with the disease.

Of the 530 dogs tested this year for Lyme disease, 98 - or 18 percent - were infected.

"We have dogs with 16 ticks crawling on them," Prast said. "They just seem to be getting worse every year."
Wisconsin began tracking Lyme disease in 1980. Since then, more than 7,000 cases of the disease have been reported in humans, including more than 1,000 last year.

Adult deer ticks are small, about three times the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The larger, more common wood tick does not carry the disease. In Wisconsin, about 15 percent to 20 percent of adult deer ticks and 8 percent of their young carry the disease. It can take up to two days for a deer tick to attach itself to its carrier and between one and two days of feeding for it to transmit the bacteria.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, fever, headache, muscle aches and a red bull's-eye rash.

Crowley, who also contracted Lyme disease, is finishing up a treatment of antibiotics. He thinks he caught the illness, which is not contagious, after a weekend at his family's cabin in Hazelhurst. Crowley found a tick embedded in his thigh after he had been experiencing pain in his leg.

"It certainly felt like somebody hit me in the thigh with a hammer," said Crowley, who found on his leg what he described as a four-inch bruise.

Not wanting to get the disease again, Crowley said he and Gandalf now get even closer inspections for ticks.

"If he's going to be running around up north, I use an external spray," Crowley said. "Then at least if he does get a tick on, it will get off."
There is no human vaccine for Lyme disease. A vaccine formerly available, LYMErix, was pulled from the market in 2002 because of potential side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is a vaccine for dogs, although it's not 100 percent effective, said Deb Gorski, a veterinary technician with Wausau Animal Hospital.

But if a dog does get Lyme disease after it has been given the vaccine, the case is usually milder, she said.

****
Lyme disease prevention

The best way to prevent a dog from contracting Lyme disease is to apply once a month a topical anti-parasite oil that can be found at most veterinary offices. Vaccinations also are available.

Mow the lawn frequently and avoid moist, shaded areas with underbrush. Install bait boxes to trap tick-carrying rodents around the yard.

Check for ticks daily and remove them with tweezers. Grasp the tick and twist counterclockwise while gently pulling. A tick's mouth may remain in the skin, which is OK. They do not contain the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

If a dog or human has symptoms of Lyme disease, which include aches, fatigue, fever and a red bulls-eye rash, seek treatment immediately. The disease can be effectively treated in dogs and humans with antibiotics.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Lyme Disease Foundation

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http://www.valleystar.com/localnews_more.php?id=S571_0_19_0_M
Valley Morning Star
Harlingen TX
Pets require additional care against pests
Christy Espinosa / Valley Morning Star

[Photo caption] - Harlingen Humane Society volunteer Luis Saenz washes, dries and sprays flea and tick medicine on one of the puppies at the humane society. With summer almost here, animal owners should inquire about washing and spraying their animals to help reduce the fleas.

By KEMBERLY GONG
kemberlyg@valleystar.com
956-421-9869

HARLINGEN - Luis Saenz, the 14-year-old "senior dog washer" at the Harlingen Humane Society knows fleas.

Saenz spends his summer days bathing puppy after puppy and finishing them off with a misting of flea repellent.

He said he's seen some pretty bad cases.

"We had a beagle that went crazy when we rubbed his back," he said.

Keta Puente, the shelter manager, said they see high rates of fleas, ticks and ear mites in stray animals. They give them flea baths, a mange dip and later give them that misting of flea spray to prevent fleas and kill any other insects left, she said.

Dr. Kathryn Dittman, a veterinarian at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic, said the main problems for dogs and cats in the Valley are fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Fleas and ticks can contribute to Lyme disease, which can cause skin, joint, heart and nervous system problems, according to the Texas Department of Health.

Ticks can also cause diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, and Ehrlichiosis, which she said is a very common disease in the Valley.

"Ticks are still hardy and difficult to kill. You must keep at it, and must be very vigilant," in treating them, she said.

Dittman said many insects thrive in the warm and humid conditions typical of the Rio Grande Valley.

She added that another safeguard sometimes overlooked in pet care is leaving animals in cars, which can overheat and cause hyperthermia and in some cases, brain damage, within 15 minutes, even if the window is opened a bit.

Jonathan Tullos, the owner of Jonathan's Pest Control in Brownsville and McAllen, said it's typical to see a rise in insect populations in summer months.

He recommended twice-yearly pesticide use around yards and houses, keeping grass cut low and keeping wood or other piles of materials as far away as possible from houses, to discourage flea and tick problems. He said stray cats and opossums are common carriers of the pests, and also said high fences and not leaving food outside will discourage those animals from entering a yard and infesting the area with insects.

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http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2004/06/01lymediseasee
xpe.html
The News Journal (DE)
Lyme disease expected to be bad for dogs
By EDWARD L. KENNEY
Staff reporter
06/01/2004

Claire Hayes, of Wilmington, takes her yellow Labrador, Ziggy, for
runs in the woods almost every day. But a couple of months ago, Ziggy
lost his usual pep and wouldn't eat his dinner. Before long, his hind
legs were paralyzed.

Hayes took Ziggy to the vet and learned he had Lyme disease, even
though he had been vaccinated and she checks for ticks after every
run.

"It's amazing, those little ticks sometimes. There's not much you can
do," Hayes said. "They get in there pretty quick. I was just hoping
he could be treated. He seems to be cured."

Ziggy is one of thousands of Delaware dogs that will contract Lyme
disease this year, with the number rising as the weather warms up and
people and their pets spend more time outdoors.

Record canine incidence numbers are expected here and elsewhere this
year, according to David Weld, executive director of the American
Lyme Disease Foundation.

Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks after they bite an infected
mouse and then bite a person or other animal, such as a dog or horse.
Deer, their most frequent host, also are bitten but are not affected
by the disease, something they have in common with cats.

There were 152 human cases of Lyme disease reported in Delaware in
2001, and that number jumped to 194 in 2002, the year the most recent
statistics are available, Weld said. Many cases are not reported.

The numbers indicate there probably were thousands of canine cases
because dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely to contract the disease
than people. They are more susceptible simply because they do doggy
things like roll around in the grass and spend more time in tick-
infested places, Weld said.

The numbers have continued to grow each year because deer continue to
increase near where people live, resulting in more deer ticks, he
said.

Brandywine Hundred Veterinary Hospital in Wilmington has treated 11
cases of dogs with Lyme disease this year, said Marc Stover, a
veterinarian at the hospital.

Deer ticks came out early, he said.

"Typically, I see the ticks come out when the temperature is in the
60s, but I was treating my dog for ticks in March," Stover said. "You
do not want your animal bringing ticks in because the ticks get on
you, and you can get Lyme disease. People have even more trouble
getting the Lyme disease cleared up."

Signs and symptoms

People with Lyme disease can develop severe arthritic, neurological
and cardiovascular problems, so they should seek immediate medical
help. Symptoms include a low-grade fever, headache, muscle or joint
pain, and, in many cases, a bull's-eye rash at the site of the tick
bite, Weld said.

The number of Lyme disease cases also is expected to rise this year
because deer ticks live about two years, and there is usually a spike
in cases in even-numbered years, he said.

Lyme disease hits the Northeast and upper Midwest regions of the
country the hardest because of the large number of deer and their
proximity to people.

Nationally, 23,763 human cases of the disease were reported in 2002;
17,027 cases were reported in 2001, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.

Some dogs can carry the Lyme disease bacteria and never show
symptoms, which include lethargy, loss of appetite, swollen joints
and lameness, Stover said.

Prevention, treatment

Although there is a vaccine to help prevent Lyme disease in dogs, it
is only about 85 percent effective, he said.

For dogs exhibiting symptoms, treatment with antibiotics for two to
three weeks usually clears it up. Left un- checked, a dog with Lyme
disease could die.

Weld said the disease is usually not fatal in people because they
know something is wrong when they start exhibiting symptoms. But dogs
need their owners to pick up the clues and take them to the vet.

Spotting a tick on a dog can be difficult, Weld said, because baby
deer ticks no bigger than a poppy seed can hop on a pet and are hard
to find.

Baby ticks are coming out now, he said.

"They cause 80 to 90 percent of all cases in dogs and people because
they are tiny and you can't find them," Weld said.

Weld, who lives in Westchester County, N.Y., where a dozen deer
routinely wander into his yard each day, said three of his dogs have
been treated for Lyme disease in the past 30 years, and he has seen
deer with as many as 1,000 ticks on them.

More ticks in NCCo

Deer populations nationally have grown from about 500,000 in the
early 1900s to between 30 million and 35 million today, Weld said.

There are 10 times as many ticks in northern New Castle County as in
Kent and Sussex counties, said Kathleen Curran, an assistant
professor at Wesley College in Dover who has been studying ticks in
Delaware for about five years.

One reason is the deer-friendly habitat in the northern part of the
state, where contiguous stands of trees resemble the environment in
Pennsylvania, a deer haven, she said. Another reason is the
Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

"It does appear to act as a barrier to slow the spread of the disease
south," Curran said. "The ticks can't move across on their own, but
they can move on animals."

Reach Edward L. Kenney at 324-2891 or ekenney@delawareonline.com.

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http://www.forestlaketimes.com/2004/May/19519dogLymed.html
Forest Lake Times
Forest Lake MN
Study reveals dogs at risk for Lyme disease
Cliff Buchan
News Editor

Dog owners take note. Anyone living in the St. Croix Valley area or the non-suburban areas of Forest Lake is in an area that provides a perfect environment for ticks. And the ticks may well be passing Lyme disease to dogs, says Dr. Dave Enright of South Shore Veterinary Hospital here.

And as a study by the IDEXX Company has concluded so far, the Forest Lake area is a hotbed for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, Enright says.

In a study from 2003, just between 1800 to 2000 dogs were tested for Lyme disease through the Forest Lake clinic. Nearly 250 tested positive for the disease.

Of that total, 66 of the dogs came from the Forest Lake area while 39 were from Wyoming and 30 from Stacy.

"South Shore Veterinary Hospital had the dubious honor of having the most Lyme positive dogs in the seven-state Upper Midwest region of the United States," Enright wrote in a letter to pet owners last October.

A secondary follow-up study is now taking place to determine the level of infection of the dogs testing positive last fall. So far, Enright says, 150 dog owners are taking part.

The study will provide insight on how the disease runs its course over time, the doctor said.

"That's what they are really interested in - why?" Enright said of the IDEXX study. "It will be fascinating to see the results."

Good advice

With the tick season in full swing, Enright says the drug company survey is a good signal to dog owners to take stock of their environment and seriously consider an immunization program for their dog.

The study in 2003 also looked at heartworm disease and a second tick-borne disease, Ehrlichiosis.

But with the deer tick season reaching its zenith in May (it runs from September to May), Enright is encouraging dog owners to take stock of their pets.

Enright is not surprised by the relatively high number of dogs testing positive last fall. "It's always been here," he said of the disease.

Dogs infected by a deer tick bite will come down with a fever, become quiet and lethargic and show signs of lameness. "They'll come up lame," Enright said.

The first sign of symptoms will last only three to four days, he says. In two to six months the animal can experience a second round of symptoms where the dog's joints are attacked to a stronger degree.

That it occurs in the St. Croix Valley area should be no surprise, Enright says. While the metro area is far more suburbanized with less natural habitat for deer ticks, that is not the case in the far north suburbs where sprawling areas like the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management area are dominant.

While many dog owners in the area have long taken the time to annually vaccinate their animals for Lyme disease, those who have not may want to consider the step, he says.

"We've seen it work well for us," he says of the two versions of Lyme disease vaccine that he has at his disposal.

At the same time, Enright says, pet owners should not discount steps to protect dogs against heartworm disease, a mosquito borne disease. His Forest Lake clinic routinely sees about a dozen cases a year in dogs.

Medicines are available in pill form and dogs can receive a liquid treatment to their coat that will ward off mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, he says.

Pet owners who have dogs that frequently swim should plan to reapply any coat treatments on a regular basis, he says, because the treatment will likely wash off despite claims that it will not.

Dogs inflicted with heart worm will develop a cough as the heart worm takes residence in the heart. The worm's presence can eventually lead to congestive heart failure.

Animals that are treated for heartworm by June 1 actually receive back protection to about April 20. This spring has not been unusually warm and consequently the mosquito larvae has not had the warm days required to mature.

Enright has this added advice for any dog owner.

Weigh your risks, he says. If you live near areas where deer ticks may thrive, by all means seek out the annual Lyme disease vaccine. The same applies for heartworm protection, he says.

"If you find ticks it should be part of your regular health maintenance," Enright says. Many of risk factors for dogs can also apply to people, he adds. "That goes for people, too," he says.

Check your dog for ticks just as you would check yourself or your child, he says. "If you find them on your dog, they are there for people."

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TheWGALChannel.com - Channel 8
Pennsylvania
Local Veterinarians See More Cases Of Lyme Disease
POSTED: 7:12 pm EDT May 13, 2004

LYME DISEASE

Tick Dangers
Identifying Ticks
Lyme Disease
CDC Lyme Disease Info

News 8 reported that this could mean a big summer for the disease that is transmitted by tiny ticks.

The disease is an infection caused and transmitted by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of deer ticks called Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus, which are the western black-legged ticks.

The disease can cause a rash, flu like symptoms, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. When untreated, it can lead to more severe symptoms in the ensuing months or years, including arthritis, heart-rhythm irregularities and nervous-system abnormalities.

Copyright 2004 by TheWGALChannel.com. All rights reserved.

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The Boston Globe
Boston MA
Lyme disease poses a threat to canines
By Joanna Massey, Globe Staff | April 25, 2004

Pat Arnold's Shetland sheepdog, Mac Braeburn, doesn't act his age of 13.

''He's extremely active," said Arnold, a Duxbury resident. ''It's always: 'Let's go for a walk. How long are we going to walk. Play ball with me.' Upstairs, downstairs, he's always right by my side."

So when Mac suddenly turned lethargic last month, losing his appetite and ability to make it up stairs, Arnold feared the worst. She told her daughter, who was returning to college after spring break, to ''say goodbye to our little boy," and took Mac to Duxbury Animal Hospital for what she expected would be a diagnosis of cancer.

But a quick blood test revealed that the dog has Lyme disease. After two weeks on antibiotics, he is back to his old self, with the activity level and spirit of a much younger dog, Arnold said.

Her pet is one of several dogs in the Duxbury area recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial illness spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. The disease, also seen in humans, has become more common in dogs and can kill if left untreated.

Veterinarians at several area animal hospitals report a significant increase this year in the number of cases they have seen.

Elizabeth Buchholz, a vet at Duxbury Animal Hospital, said 16 percent of dogs tested for Lyme disease during 2003 showed a positive antibody response. So far this year, 22 percent of dogs have tested positive, she said.

While a positive test does not mean the dog definitely has the disease, the increase suggests that more dogs potentially have been exposed, Buchholz said.

''We've been hanging around 15 percent for a few years, so we're definitely starting to see more cases," she said. ''It varies seasonally, so now we're catching it from [tick] exposures last fall."

The situation is similar at Marshfield Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Jeffrey Barrow said he began testing dogs for Lyme disease earlier this year. In the past few weeks, two of three dogs showed positive results.

While he said he believes canine Lyme disease has become more rampant in the area, Barrow said he thinks there is also more awareness now.

''In the past, people didn't recognize the symptoms and a lot of dogs might have died of it without owners knowing," he said. ''Early detection is the key to curing it. By the time it spreads to the kidneys or liver, it's very difficult to cure."

Linda Allen of South Duxbury was able to avoid that stage with her four-year-old Labrador retriever, Sydney. During a routine checkup last month, a heartworm test revealed Lyme disease-causing bacteria in the dog's blood.

Although deer are not an uncommon sight in her wooded backyard, her dog does not spend long periods of time outside and was not showing any symptoms of the disease, Allen said.

''It's pretty scary because she's a young dog and I wouldn't have known," she said. ''It seems like the more I mention Lyme disease, the more someone else says their dog has it, too. There are several just within a mile in my neighborhood."

Like other owners of dogs who have contracted the disease, Allen and Arnold say they worry about children in the area becoming sick. Arnold said she knows of one person in her neighborhood who has the disease.

''If it's showing up in our dogs, this is also a human problem," Arnold said. ''I worry about kids at soccer games, sitting on the grass. This is just a signal that we've got the disease in this area, and we need to be vigilant."

Buchholz, of Duxbury Animal Hospital, said there are several possible reasons for the increase in Lyme disease cases.

A lot of area residents spend time on Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard, areas with much higher exposures rates, she said. At the same time, the disease seems to be creeping up the coast, as deer are driven from their habitat by development.

The Lyme Disease Foundation Inc. in Hartford suggests that pets that spend time outside should be checked daily for ticks. The most effective method for protecting animals from infection is regular use of tick repellent and insecticide, according to its website.

Nancy Day, another Duxbury resident who two years ago organized a committee of dog owners who successfully lobbied against a summertime dog-walking ban on the town beach, said she has received several recent e-mail messages from dog lovers expressing concern about the Lyme disease cases in town.

She said she has encouraged all owners to have their pets tested.

Sara Fargo, owner of the Duxbury-based dog-walking service Paws In Motion, agreed.

''My dogs get Lyme disease boosters so that even if they're bitten by a tick, they're OK," she said. ''The best thing for people to do is get them the shots."

Joanna Massey can be reached at massey@globe.com.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Letters to the Editor encouraged:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/write/ (online form) or letter@globe.com

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http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%
2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031774511831&path=!
flair&s=1045855936229
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond VA

Q. What types of diseases do ticks carry that can affect my dogs?

A. Tick-borne infections can definitely affect your dog. Cats are
rarely infected, most likely because they are constantly cleaning
themselves and have some natural resistance. The most common tick
diseases are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichia and Lyme
disease. Organisms are injected into your pet from the bite of a
carrier tick. These diseases can occur anytime in warm climates and
in spring through fall in colder regions. The incubation period from
a few weeks to a few months.

Initial signs include lethargy, loss of appetite and lameness in one
or more limbs. Left untreated, infected dogs become severely
debilitated and many die. As with any disease, early detection and
treatment are essential.

Diagnosis involves blood work to identify signs of disease. Many
afflicted dogs are anemic and have high fevers that contribute to
their lethargy. Your veterinarian may also check blood for antibody
levels. High levels indicate an active infection.

Treatment varies depending on severity. Mildly affected dogs can be
sent home on antibiotics. The most common one is Doxycycline,
although others may be used especially if Lyme disease is suspected.

Severely affected pets require hospitalization, intravenous fluids,
injectable antibiotics and in some cases, steroids. Some patients can
develop immune mediated hemolytic anemia due to attachment of the
disease organism to red blood cells.

Therapy for both mildly and severely affected pets often continues
for several weeks. Relapses can occur, so your pet should be closely
monitored for the duration of the treatment and several weeks
afterward.

Consult with your veterinarian if you live in areas where ticks are
present. He or she can supply you with medications that are applied
on the pet's skin.

These products are very safe and highly effective in killing both
ticks and fleas as they crawl along an animal's skin. Monthly
applications are required and products are available for both cats
and dogs.

The cost of these medications is small compared with the expense of
treating tick-borne disease and its devastating effects on your pet.


Timothy Dietrick is a full-time emergency veterinarian at the
Veterinary Emergency Center. He received his doctorate of veterinary
medicine from Virginia Tech after completing his master's degree at
the University of Richmond. Write him in care of Richmond Times-
Dispatch, P.O. Box 85333, Richmond, VA 23293-0001 or by e-mail to
home@timesdispatch.com.

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http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040322/nyfnss03_1.html
Press Release Source: Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division
Preparing Pets for Parasite Season
Monday March 22, 5:08 am ET

SHAWNEE, Kan., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring's warmer weather
typically ushers in the beginning of flea, tick and mosquito season
for many of America's 140 million(1) pet dogs and cats. That's why
Bayer Animal Health encourages visits to the veterinarian to protect
and prevent cats and dogs from health conditions and diseases caused
by warm-weather-loving parasites, which are known carriers of serious
diseases including flea allergy dermatitis, Lyme disease and Rocky
Mountain spotted fever.

In 1997, Bayer Animal Health introduced America's cats and dogs to
Advantage flea control, the fastest topical solution that stops
fleas from biting in 3-5 minutes and kills 98-100 percent of fleas
within 12 hours of initial application. In 2002, Bayer introduced K9
Advantix, a new triple- protection flea, tick and mosquito control
product that provides monthly protection for dogs against these three
common parasites.

With pets romping outside and roaming around the house, it is
important to protect the entire family, including pets, from the
diseases pet parasites can carry. Below are simple steps pet parents
can take to prevent the onset of parasite infestation in pets and the
transfer of fleas and ticks to family members:

-- Visit the Vet. The veterinarian is the number one source for pet
health so it is important to schedule regular visits to prevent
parasites such as fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

-- Fight the Bite. Prevention is the best medicine, so protecting a
pet from day one with products such as Advantage flea control for
dogs and cats and K9 Advantix, flea, tick and mosquito control for
dogs is essential.

-- Food for Thought. Feed a pet a healthy diet and prevent it from
eating raw food, drinking out of the toilet, eating out of the trash
or consuming birds and other small animals.

-- Start on the right foot. Have children wear shoes while playing
outside and avoid sitting with bare legs in the dirt.

-- Spick and Span. Clean a pet's living area at least once a week.
Remove feces, one of the main transmitters of worms, from the
backyard and clean the litter box at least every other day.

-- Wash Up. Wash hands with soap and warm water after cleaning up
after animals to kill bacteria from animal feces in the soil which
can enter through the skin.

-- Critter Cuisine. Prevent young children from putting dirt, grass
or sand into their mouths, especially in public areas such as parks
and playgrounds.

-- Best Buy. Before adding a new pet to the family, consult a
veterinarian to receive recommendations on shelters or breeders for
purchasing a healthy pet.

-- A Reason for Every Season. Not every city is warm in fall and
winter, but protecting pets from parasites is still important.
Parasite infestation can happen any season so prevention needs to be
a year-round responsibility.

Both Advantage and K9 Advantix are available nationwide and sold
exclusively through licensed, practicing veterinarians. Both come in
four- packs or six-packs in four weight sizes and should be applied
monthly for optimal parasite control and prevention. For more
information on Bayer's parasite control products visit
www.K9Advantix.com or www.nofleas.com .

About Bayer

Best known for its flagship product, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer HealthCare
is a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales amounting to some 10
billion Euro. It is one of the world's leading, innovative companies
in the health care and medical products industry. Bayer HealthCare
combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Biological
Products, Consumer Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceutical divisions.
More than 34,000 employees work for Bayer HealthCare worldwide.

Our work at Bayer HealthCare is to discover and manufacture
innovative products for the purpose of improving human and animal
health worldwide. Our products enhance the well-being and quality of
life by diagnosing, preventing and treating disease.

Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division, the maker of Advantage
Topical Solution and K9 Advantix, is a worldwide leader in parasite
control and prescription pharmaceuticals for dogs, cats, horses,
cattle and poultry. U.S. operations for the Animal Health Division
are headquartered in Shawnee, Kan.

(1) American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc.(R)
APPMA's 2003/2004 National Pet Owners Survey.
Source: Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division

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http://www.messengernews.net/top_stories_full.asp?874
FDA Animal Health makes strides around globe
By ROBERT WOLF Messenger correspondent

Participants at this week's Brown Bag Briefing at the library learned
about Fort Dodge Animal Health's leading role in its industry from
Tim Carlson, director of human resources for the company.

The company began in Fort Dodge as the Fort Dodge Serum Co. in
1912 as a hog cholera serum manufacturer and has become a leading
manufacturer and distributor of prescription and over-the-counter
distributor animal health care products for livestock and companion
animals.

``We are global,'' Carlson said. ``We have manufacturing sites
throughout the world and we deliver products to over 100 different
countries.''

Fort Dodge Animal Health is the No. 1 veterinary biological
(vaccine) manufacturer in the world and ranks second in veterinary
vaccine sales in North America according to Carlson.

Fort Dodge Animal Health is a division of Wyeth, a research-based
global pharmaceutical company responsible for the discovery and
development of some of today's most innovative medicines. In 1945,
Fort Dodge Animal Health became a part of American Home Products.
Five years ago American Home Products made the decision to
concentrate more on pharmaceutical and health care business.

Since 1965, American Home Products has acquired several other
companies which helped them expand into the global market. Unlike
many of their competitors, Fort Dodge Animal Health is a full-service
veterinary health care company, involved in both the pharmaceutical
and biological business providing more than 2,360 products for
bovine, canine, equine, feline, poultry and swine. A year ago
American Home Products changed its name to Wyeth, which had been a
division of American Home Products.

``Here in Fort Dodge we have the majority of the biological and
research development, about 73 folks in our facility are out there
developing and improving products,'' he said. Thirty-four people on
site have doctorate degrees.

There are actually two Fort Dodge Animal Health sites in Fort
Dodge, the main office on the west edge of town, which is mostly
manufacturing, and the Riverside Facility near the Des Moines River,
which is mostly a packing and finishing operation. The main office
employs 592 people, 72 of which are in research and development. The
Riverside Facility employs 265 people.

Fort Dodge Animal Health also has biological manufacturing and
distributing sites in Charles City, and in Brazil, Ireland, Spain,
Australia, and the Netherlands. In addition, they have pharmaceutical
facilities in Charles City, Spain, Taiwan and Italy.

The three sites in Iowa produce 58 percent of the company's
global sales.

The Fort Dodge facility receives eight to 10 inspections annually
from the various agencies involved in the industry. The FDA utilizes
the Fort Dodge facility as a training ground for new inspectors.

No other company can boast of such an impressive list of firsts,
Carlson said. That list includes 10 different vaccines, including
vaccines for canine parvovirus, canine Lyme disease, feline leukemia,
and feline ringworm. The company's newest products include vaccines
for foals against equine rotavirus which causes diarrhea, a vaccine
against equine influenza, and the first six-month heartworm treatment
for dogs.

Recently the Centers for Disease Control approached Fort Dodge
Animal Health about developing a West Nile vaccine for horses. The
company developed a product and within 14 months got a conditional
license to distribute the vaccine, Carlson said.

Carlson is a graduate of the University of Iowa and worked in
human resources for United States Gypsum in Fort Dodge, then in
Burlington and in Dayton, Ohio, before deciding to move back to Fort
Dodge, his wife's hometown, three years ago to work for Fort Dodge
Animal Health. He also oversees human resources at Fort Dodge Animal
Health facilities in Charles City; Wilmington, Ohio; and Princeton,
N.J.
From The Ft. Dodge Iowa Messenger, Ft. Dodge IA

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http://www.news.wisc.edu/view.html?get=8413
Schultz: Dog vaccines may not be necessary
(Posted: 03/14/03)
Emily Carlson

Once a year, Ronald Schultz checks the antibody levels in his dogs' blood. Why? He says for proof that most annual vaccines are unnecessary.
Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at School of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s; he's learned that immunity can last as long as a dog's lifetime, which suggests that our "best friends" are being over-vaccinated.

Based on his findings, a community of canine vaccine experts has developed new veterinary recommendations that could eliminate a dog's need for annual shots. The guidelines appear in the March/April issue of Trends, the journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Every year, when we take our dogs to the veterinarian's office, they could receive up to 16 different vaccines, many of which are combined into a single shot. Four of these products protect against life-threatening diseases, including rabies, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2); the rest protect against milder diseases to which only some dogs are exposed, including Lyme disease.

But, as many veterinarians are realizing, over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog's health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease. Though the case in cats, not dogs, tumors have been reported at the site of vaccine injections.

"These adverse reactions have caused many veterinarians to rethink the issue of vaccination," says Schultz. "The idea that unnecessary vaccines can cause serious side effects is in direct conflict with sound medical practices."

For 30 years, Schultz has been examining the need to vaccinate animals so often and for so many diseases. "In the 1970s, I started thinking about our immune response to pathogens and how similar it is in other animals," says Schultz. "That's when I started to question veterinary vaccination practices."

Just like ours, a canine's immune system fires up when a pathogen, like a virus, enters the body. The pathogen releases a protein called an antigen, which calls into action the immune system's special disease-fighting cells. Called B and T lymphocytes, these cells not only destroy the virus, but they remember what it looked like so they can fend it off in the future.

It's this immunological memory that enables vaccines, which purposely contain live, weakened or dead pathogens, to protect against future disease.

But, as Schultz points out, vaccines can keep people immune for a lifetime: we're usually inoculated for measles, mumps and rubella as children but never as adults. So, can dogs be vaccinated as pups and then never again?

While evidence from Schultz's studies on both his own dogs and many other dogs from controlled studies suggests the answer is yes, Schultz recommends a more conservative plan based on duration of immunity and individual risk.
Schultz says that core vaccines, or the ones that protect against life-threatening disease, are essential for all dogs, yet he does not recommend dogs receive these shots yearly. "With the exception of rabies, the vaccines for CDV, CPV-2 and CAV trigger an immunological memory of at least seven years," he explains. (Studies testing the duration of immunity for rabies shots show it lasts about three years.)

For these reasons, Schultz suggests that dogs receive rabies shots every three years (as is required by law in most states) and the other core vaccines no more frequently than every three years.

Some non-core vaccines, on the other hand, have a much shorter duration of immunity, lasting around one year. But, as Schultz points out, not every dog should get these types of vaccines, because not every dog is at risk for exposure.

Today, many vaccinated dogs receive a shot for Lyme disease. However, Schultz says that the ticks carrying the Lyme disease pathogen can be found in only a few regions of the United States. More importantly, Schultz adds, "The vaccine can cause adverse effects such as mild arthritis, allergy or other immune diseases. Like all vaccines, it should only be used when the animal is at significant risk." He notes that the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine rarely administers the Lyme disease vaccine.

Another common vaccine that Schultz says is unnecessary protects against "kennel cough," an often mild and transient disease contracted during boarding or dog shows. "Most pet dogs that do not live in breeding kennels, are not boarded, do not go to dog shows and have only occasional contact with dogs outside their immediate family," Schultz recommends, "rarely need to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated for kennel cough."

Schultz says that it's important for veterinarians to recognize an individual dog's risk for developing a particular disease when considering the benefits of a vaccine. "Vaccines have many exceptional benefits, but, like any drug, they also have the potential to cause significant harm." Giving a vaccine that's not needed, he explains, creates an unnecessary risk to the animal.

Recommending that dogs receive fewer vaccines, Schultz admits, may spark controversy, especially when veterinarians rely on annual vaccines to bring in clients, along with income.

But, as he mentions, annual visits are important for many reasons other than shots.

"Checking for heartworm, tumors, dermatological problems and tooth decay should be done on a yearly basis," he says. "Plus, some dogs, depending on their risk, may need certain vaccines annually." Rather than vaccinating on each visit, veterinarians can use a recently developed test which checks dogs' immunity against certain diseases.

Schultz adds that veterinarians who have switched to the three-year, instead of annual, vaccination program have found no increase in the number of dogs with vaccine-preventable diseases.

"Everyday, more and more people in the profession are embracing the change," notes Schultz. And, that the new vaccination guidelines supported by the AAHA, along with the task force members representing the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, is evidence of just that.

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http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?
BRD=1942&dept_id=500678&newsid=7627461&PAG=461&rfi=9
Avoiding Lyme Disease
By: NAPSI
April 07, 2003

(NAPSI)-It may surprise some people to learn that your pet's health
could provide insight into your risk of infection.

The American Lyme Disease Foundation reports that Lyme disease in
dogs is an indicator of increased risk for infection in their owners.
The group recommends annual testing of dogs to help keep them and
their owners healthy.

Lyme disease is a condition caused by the bacteria that live on the
deer tick. The bacteria can spread to humans (or other hosts) when
ticks bite them. Symptoms of the disease in humans include a "bull's-
eye-shaped" rash and flu-like symptoms including headache, sore
throat, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, fatigue and general malaise.

Cases of Lyme disease tend to be most prevalent in the spring, but
numerous variables factor in to when people and dogs are most
vulnerable to the disease and how many contract it each year.

"Ticks need a bit of humidity to be active," says David Weld of the
American Lyme Disease Foundation. "A couple of years ago we had a
rainy summer. While that's ideal for ticks, it kept people out of the
woods and other places where ticks tend to be."

Weld says while variables make it difficult to predict when Lyme
disease outbreaks will occur, it is known that the disease affects
people throughout the U.S. Perhaps even more alarming, Weld says the
incidence of human Lyme disease is believed to be as much as 10 times
greater than the number of cases reported. However, dogs are at a
greater risk of contracting the disease than are humans.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:

* Sudden occurrence of lameness

* Seeming reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait

* Warm, swollen joints

* Pain in the legs and throughout the body

* Fever, fatigue and loss of appetite

* Swollen lymph nodes

If you notice these symptoms in your four-legged friend, it's a good
idea to have your dog-and yourself-screened for Lyme disease. For
more information, visit www.lymetest.com.

Lyme disease can be treated, especially when detected early.
Albany Area Advertiser 2003

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http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/24/technology/circuits/24shop.html
The New York Times
April 24, 2003
A Season for Saving Furry Hides
By MICHELLE SLATALLA

The two people who are least alike in the world are my friend John
Tayman and Otto.

For starters, one of them isn't even a person. Otto is a brown dog.
Also, John lives an ordered, thoughtful life on a hill in San
Francisco, where he has a pristine apartment with a snow-globe view
of the city. Otto, on the other hand, likes to roll in mud puddles,
drink gallons of murky water and throw up gravel on rugs. Sometimes
Otto tries to wipe his paws on John's pants.

Still, it came as a surprise to learn the other day that John had it
in for Otto, who by the way adores him.

"How's Fatty?" John asked, fortunately out of Otto's earshot.

"He's supposed to be stocky," my husband said defensively. "He's
English style."

But John appeared unconvinced and said you should be able to count a
dog's ribs. "Without pressing hard," he added, demonstrating the
technique on his own slender dog, who was lying like a statue at his
feet.

That night as we drove home, my husband and I vowed to start Otto on
a fitness program. We drew up a Taymanesque master plan involving
rigorous hikes. It was a cinch to persuade Otto to take part, because
we live at the base of a mountain crisscrossed with many miles of
trails and mud puddles.

But after the first outing, disaster struck while we were pressing
really hard against Otto's flanks to try to discern whether he had
ribs.

"Tick!" my husband shrieked.

We had overlooked the fact that in many parts of the country,
including Northern California, where we live, the arrival of April
signals the opening salvo of the flea and tick season. For background
on this situation, I recommend reading Petsmart.com's "Flea and Tick
Dog" section (not to be confused with "Flea and Tick Cat") at the
site, which among other helpful features has a nationwide map to
pinpoint regional kickoff dates.

To summarize the gorier details: the world is full of little pests
that like to feast on your dog, then lay thousands of eggs in his
pelt. And sometimes nasty, eight-legged arachnids stick their heads
under his skin to suck his blood and fatten up. Otto, who a minute
ago was snoring peacefully on the guest bed in my office, just looked
up in concern, prompting me to wonder whether he has a sixth sense,
and if so, if he knows what John has been saying behind his back.

Anyway, it's the time of year when I must douse him in protective
chemicals. And since we had no medication (Otto hasn't established a
personal relationship with a vet in the eight months since we moved
from New York), I turned to the Internet for help.

Online, I found pet pharmacies that were as well stocked any
drugstore I've wandered into. With names like 1800PetMeds.com
(www.petmedexpress.com) Pet Shed (www.petshed.com) and PetCareRx.com
(www.petcarerx.com), the shops had greater selections of over-the-
counter medications than the average bricks-and-mortar store.
PetCareRx.com and 1800PetMeds.com sell prescription-only medications
and vaccines, too.

If you buy prescription medications, the sites will contact your vet
directly to get the authorization to sell to you. This makes it
possible to purchase, say, distemper vaccines in bulk at a discount
from what you would pay for a vaccination at the vet's. Of course,
you would have to be comfortable giving your pet an injection.

"It's good for pet owners, though, because they save an average of 15
to 25 percent of the cost by buying online," said Mendo Akdag, chief
executive of 1800PetMeds.com. "We're changing the way pet owners get
medication. In the past, they usually had to buy it through one of
the 30,000 veterinarians in the United States, and there were
probably 30,000 different prices."

In the flea and tick department, the online stores had a wide range
of products for cats and dogs, from the over-the-counter treatments
found at any pet store to stronger medications (in our house, we
refer to this class as "the good stuff") that have traditionally been
sold mainly by veterinarians. These medications - including Frontline
and Frontline Plus (manufactured by Merial), and Advantage and
Advantix (from Bayer) - contain various combinations of flea and tick
poisons depending on which parasites you want to kill.

Our former vet had recommended Frontline Plus for Otto (kills fleas
and ticks). I found a useful tool at 1800PetMeds.com to narrow down
my search for the appropriate dosage and formulation. There I entered
information about my pet's species (clicking on "dog," rather
than "cat"). Then I typed in his weight (85 pounds, although I could
picture that changing as his ribs become more visible).

This narrowed my search to a product called Frontline Plus for dogs
who weigh 45 to 88 pounds. At two online sites, prices were
competitive: $43.98 including shipping for a three-month supply at

PetCareRx.com, and $42.98 for the same at 1800PetMeds.com. (The
cheapest price was $46.95 for a six-month supply, from Pet Shed, but
it would be shipped from overseas, so it might take longer to arrive.)

But the company that makes Frontline recommends against purchasing it
online.

"We just don't regard fleas and ticks as trivial issues,'' said Don
Schwartz, director of business development for Merial. "We really
think it takes a veterinarian to know what to do about parasites and
diseases that they can spread. Ticks, depending on where you live,
can spread very serious diseases that can affect people as well as
pets."

Mr. Schwartz also warned that Merial had received complaints from
online shoppers who had unwittingly bought counterfeit products in
Frontline packaging.

Mr. Akdag of 1800PetMeds.com offered a different point of view.

"The reason we have to buy the product from third parties, from
wholesalers, is really politics," he said. "Most of these products
are patented, and the manufacturers rely on veterinarians to
recommend their products. They are concerned that if they make their
products widely available, then veterinarians could potentially
boycott their brand."

Mr. Schwartz cited other reasons for limiting online
purchases. "There are some products, for example, that are extremely
toxic to cats," he said. "We still have worries that without
professional advice from a veterinarian, some people with dogs might
get it and have it at home and then try it on the cat and, poof, dead
cat."

I don't have cats. So I ordered Frontline Plus (the brand John uses,
as well) from Pet Shed and informed Otto that soon his tick problems
would be over. But his real concern, he indicated by tilting his head
a certain way, was whether John really thinks he is fat.

"Big-boned," John clarified, by e-mail.

Otto, relieved, rolled over to begin Phase 2 of his nap. I think I
saw a rib.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

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http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/030430/053347.html
Press Release Source: Merial
Survey of Nation's Leading Veterinarians Reveals Fleas and Ticks
Among the Leading Dangers to Dogs This Spring and Summer
Wednesday April 30, 11:10 am ET

Veterinarians Confirm Pet Owners Are Mistaken About Being Concerned
With Their Dogs Contracting West Nile Virus

DULUTH, GA--(MARKET WIRE)--Apr 30, 2003 -- According to a recent
survey(1) of veterinarians at the 2003 American Animal Hospital
Association (AAHA) annual meeting, flea- and tick-related diseases
will pose a real threat to dogs this year. In the survey, flea
allergy dermatitis was among the top three diseases veterinarians
believe dogs will suffer from this spring and summer.

"Although the season is just beginning, we are already seeing an
increase in flea and tick infestations nationwide. The best advice
for pet owners is to protect their dogs from fleas and ticks,
particularly if they're going to be outside or if they're joining the
family on vacation," said Dr. Robin Downing, veterinarian at Windsor
Veterinary Clinic in Colorado. "I make sure to tell my clients how
important it is to put their pets on preventive products to protect
against infestation of the pet and the home. I like Frontline Plus,
because it provides long-lasting protection against both fleas and
ticks and is durable in water and sunlight."

While veterinarians acknowledge that dog owners are equally as
concerned about these flea and tick-borne diseases, they believe pet
owners misunderstand the threat of mosquito-borne diseases. According
to the survey, veterinarians do not see West Nile Virus as a threat
to dogs, but are having to deal with increased pet owner concern.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) echoes the fact
that veterinarians do not consider West Nile Virus a health threat to
dogs. A brochure, recently published by the AVMA, states West Nile
Virus illness in dogs is rare. According to the AVMA, although it is
possible for dogs to become infected with West Nile Virus, dogs very
rarely become ill. Since dogs are naturally resistant to West Nile
Virus it is unnecessary to use a mosquito repellent on dogs.
Common Flea- and Tick-Related Diseases

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Ranking among the top three concerns for veterinarians, flea allergy
dermatitis is the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and
results from an allergic reaction to the bite of the flea, leading to
itching and self-trauma. The skin reaction and intense itching can
lead to hair loss and skin lesions.

Ehrlichiosis

Veterinarians also expect to see more cases of canine Ehrlichiosis
this year. Ehrlichiosis, transmitted to dogs through the bite of
infected brown dog ticks, is an infectious blood disease that attacks
dogs' white blood cells, crippling their immune system.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most commonly diagnosed tick-borne disease in
dogs. The deer tick carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Infected dogs may exhibit lameness, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue
and an abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes.

About Merial

Merial is the world's leading innovation driven animal health
company, providing a comprehensive range of pharmaceuticals and
vaccines to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide
range of animal species. Merial operates in more than 150 countries
worldwide. Sales in 2001 were in excess of $1.6 billion.

Merial manufactures FRONTLINE brand flea and tick control products.
FRONTLINE brand products are the No. 1 choice of veterinarians for
flea-and tick-control on dogs and cats. It is a topically applied,
waterproof, once-a-month treatment for dogs and cats that kills both
fleas and all major disease-carrying ticks for at least one month.

For further information please see www.merial.com.

(1) The survey was conducted by onsite professional field
representatives, using Triton Technology, on March 24 and 25 at the
2003 American Animal Hospital Association annual meeting in Phoenix,
AZ.

Contact:
Contact: Cindy Greeno
Company: Merial
Voice: 678-638-3681
Email: cindy.greeno@merial.com
Contact: David Freireich
Company: Ketchum
Voice: 646-935-4052
Email: david.freireich@ketchum.com
Source: Merial

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http://www.timesstar.com/Stories/0,1413,125%257E1549%257E1397757,00.html
Alameda Times-Star (CA)
How to get fleas and ticks to bug off and stay off your pet

Saturday, May 17, 2003 - IT'S that time of year again. Time for backyard
barbecues, days at the beach and, unfortunately for your pets, it's also
the time for flea and tick infestation.

While you might think these pesky parasites are just a nuisance for you
and your pets, they can actually pose some serious health risks. Many pets
are extremely allergic to flea bites and may develop a rash, inflammation
or suffer hair loss. Others develop secondary problems such as tapeworms
or anemia in severe cases.

Ticks pose an even greater risk, annually giving pets and thousands of
people serious illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted
fever.

Don't be fooled if your pet isn't doing a lot of scratching;
he or she may still have fleas. A fine-toothed flea comb is the best way
to search for these tiny bugs and for signs of "flea dirt," the dry waste
resembling black pepper flakes. Combing out the adult fleas you see is
only half the battle because there are probably hundreds of others at
various life stages waiting to mature and take over.

Ticks are larger and can be seen more easily. We recommend examining pets
for ticks daily, concentrating around the head and ears especially if
they've been out in wooded, damp, grassy areas.

Remove ticks immediately using fine-point tweezers, making sure to grasp
the tick where the mouth parts are embedded into the skin. Disinfect the
wound and carefully dispose of the tick by submerging it in alcohol in a
sealed bag for 12 hours to prevent the spread of disease.

If you discover that Fluffy or Fido does, in fact, have some unwanted
friends, the good news is that a variety of products are available to
control them and prevent reinfestation. You'll probably need them because
fleas adapt and survive
well in most home environments.

The flea life cycle is very difficult to interrupt because an adult can
lay hundreds of eggs on your pet and around your house before dying. To
control the entire flea problem, adults must be killed and the maturation
of her offspring at all stages of life must be inhibited. Ticks, on the
other hand, are not quite as tenacious as fleas. They only attach to your
pet's skin when they're feeding and will fall off once they're done.

Your veterinarian has an arsenal of products for your pet to control fleas
and ticks without the need to treat the home environment at the same time.
Advantage, Program, Frontline and Sentinel are commonly used to control
fleas. The differences between these products are the active ingredients
they contain, the stage of flea life cycle they affect and their delivery
method (oral or topical).

Products are also made specifically to combat ticks and still others, like
Frontline and Advantix, kill both fleas and ticks. While these products
are considered to be safe, they must be selected very carefully because
cats and certain dog breeds can be sensitive to these pesticides.

Talk to your veterinarian about the best and safest way to keep your dog
or cat flea- and tick-free, so the only thing that will be on your pet's
fur this season is the warm sun.


Jeffrey Proulx is the director of veterinary services at the San Francisco
SPCA. If you have questions about dogs or cats, write to him at The San
Francisco SPCA, 2500 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103 or e-mail at
dr.jproulx@sfspca.org . To find out more about The SF/SPCA, check the Web
site at www.sfspca.org

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http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/3858197.html
The Star Tribune
Minnesota news roundup
Associated Press
Published May 1, 2003
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Lyme disease has made its way to the Bemidji area,
according to a study of dogs in the area.

During the Animal Care Clinic vaccination clinic the last two weeks
of April, Eric Thorsgard said he and his colleagues began testing for
Lyme disease in dogs for the first time. Of 422 dogs tested, 86 dogs -
or 20 percent - turned up positive for the disease.

``We didn't used to push the Lyme disease (vaccine) in this area,''
Thorsgard said. ``I think it's moving this way. If we have that much
in the dogs, if there's that much out there in the ticks, we're
probably going to see a rise in people and horses.''

The vaccine gives dogs good protection, especially coupled with an
external parasite control.

The most commonly seen symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include
fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, arthritis with swollen joints,
pain and lameness. The symptoms can vary in intensity, can
spontaneously resolve, and may return weeks or months later.

The infected dogs probably contracted Lyme disease last year. Dogs
can carry the disease for a long time before they show symptoms.

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Protect pets from pests during dog days of summer
7-23-03
By CHRISTINA JOHNSON
H-P Staff Writer

These long, dog days of summer are usually a time of vacations and
fun activities, but not for our four-legged friends because ticks and
fleas don't take time off.

According to local experts, the pesky pests are a major problem among
pet owners.

Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of pets and other
animals and can carry such diseases as Rocky Mountain Fever,
tularemia, Q Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Lyme Disease.

Another troublesome insect is the blood-thirsty mosquito, which can
carry and spread heartworms to your pets.

Dr. Joe Hardt, of the Palestine Veterinary Hospital, said there are
many ways to protect your dog or cat from contracting a disease from
a tick.

"There are various sprays and treatments to prevent ticks and fleas
on your pet," he said. "And there are things you can do at home to
prevent them also."

Hardt suggests that the best place to start treatment for ticks is in
your own yard.

"There are many organic phosphates you can buy at garden or feed
centers," he said. "You should at least treat your yard every two
weeks or when you see that it's necessary."

Keeping the grass trimmed low also helps, the veterinarian advised.

Hardt said pet owners should pay close attention to the areas where
pets sleep and spend time. Those areas should be treated as well.

"People need to come in and be educated on their animals and the
products that are available to take care of their pets," Hardt said.
Two top products on the market to ward off ticks and fleas are
Frontline and Revolution. Frontline lasts longer and is more active
in killing ticks, Hardt said. Revolution is fairly new on the market
and helps prevent fleas and heartworm.

Another species that will pose a threat to your animals this summer
are snakes. As the heat increases this summer, snakes are becoming
more active.

There are over 35 species of snakes in East Texas, according to Paul
Freed, a herpetology supervisor at the Houston Zoo.

"Only six species are venomous," Freed said. The most common
poisonous snake in the East Texas area is the copperhead.

Hardt said that most snake bites to dogs or cats are not fatal.

"Most people don't even know the snakes are there," he said. "When
dogs get bit, you can see the marks on their face. There will be
rapid swelling."

Treatment for snake bites include antihistamines for shock and maybe
a few shots for the swelling, the veterinarian stated.

For more information about ticks, fleas, and other pests contact the
Palestine Veterinary Hospital at 903-729-0141 or call your local
veterinarian.

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'Tis the season for Lyme disease
Should your dogs be protected in outdoors?
BY LISA PRICE
Staff Writer
lprice@republicanherald.com

If you chose 100 dogs at random, 80 of them would test positive for
exposure to ticks infected with Lyme disease.

Of those 80, only five would ever develop signs of the disease, but
could most likely be treated successfully with antibiotics.

It's also true, though, that dogs that get Lyme disease can die, most
likely of kidney disease.

So should your dog be vaccinated?

It may depend on where you live and what activities you do with your
dog.

Do you take the dog hiking or hunting where it can be exposed to deer
ticks? Do you live in southern Schuylkill County?

In the northern end of the county, Dr. Ronald G. Bernhard of Ringtown
Valley Veterinary Hospital had two dogs test positive for exposure to
Lyme disease in June.

Dr. Kathryn E. Kropp of Companion Animal Hospital, Tamaqua, said a
client's dog died of the disease this year.

Part of the controversy about vaccinating dogs against Lyme disease
comes from problems with the vaccine itself.

A few years ago, when a Lyme disease vaccine became available for
dogs, the shot itself sometimes caused reactions and was thought to
induce auto-immune disease, Kropp said.

"But now, the vaccines have become more effective and safer," she
said. "If I have clients who are hunters, or who are going to be in
rural areas or are traveling with their dog, I think it's worthwhile
to vaccinate because that's all high risk for Lyme disease."

Bernhard and Kropp said that the classic indication of Lyme disease
in dogs is lameness.

"You'll have a dog that can't seem to get comfortable, or develops a
limp that comes and goes, that's classic for Lyme disease," said
Bernhard as he examined Buddy, a Pomeranian owned by Mary T. Raibeck,
Frackville. "The dogs can be treated with antibiotics but if it gets
past that stage, you'll have the kidney disease."

Testing for exposure to Lyme disease is part of the screening test
for heartworms.

But, as both veterinarians pointed out, a positive test for exposure
to the disease doesn't mean the dog will develop it.

"The first controversy is whether to vaccinate," he said. "The second
controversy is what to do if your dog tests positive for exposure to
the disease."

Most people just keep a close eye on their dog to see if it develops
symptoms, such as the lameness, fever, swollen joints or anorexia.

It's important to remember that the clinical signs of the disease, in
particular the lameness, sometimes don't appear until two to five
months after exposure.

Even in areas where Lyme disease is common, dogs rarely develop the
clinical disease.

The devastating chronic arthritis and central nervous system
involvement seen in humans is rare in dogs.

Interestingly, the fatal kidney disease that results from Lyme
disease has most often been found in Labrador and Golden retrievers,
which may be related to the fact that those breeds are popular for
hunting or other outdoor pursuits.

The actual diagnosis of Lyme disease in a dog is tough to confirm.
The dog must have a history of exposure to ticks, clinical signs, a
positive test and a prompt response, usually 24 to 48 hours, to
antibiotic therapy.

Both veterinarians conclude that one of the best defenses against
Lyme disease is removal of ticks from dogs on a daily basis, and
control of ticks on the dog through repellents.

Bernard recommends a "spot on" repellent called Frontline, which is
applied between the dog's shoulders but helps prevent ticks from
attaching all over the dog's body.

Kropp agreed, pointing out that a tick has to be attached to the dog
for 48 hours before it transmits the bacteria that causes Lyme
disease.

Both agreed that universal vaccination is not recommended. Dogs
should be selected for vaccination based on their residence, or
likely exposure to tick populations.

Contact information:
http://www.schuylkill.com/contactus/editorial.html

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Health of outside cats threatened by tick disease
By Barbara Hootman
Staff Writer
Wednesday July 9, 2003

Outside cats not only have to dodge dogs, cars, and fleas, but ticks
as well, to stay healthy.

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association recently announced
two domestic cats had died in the past month from a tick-borne
disease called cytauxzoonosis.

Cytauxzoonosis was first reported in Missouri in 1976.

"The disease is not a new one, but it is newly diagnosed in North
Carolina," Dr. Lee Hunter, state epidemiologist, said. "It certainly
has the potential to pose severe problems to outside house cats. I've
seen several cases of it."

Cytauxzoonosis is a serious, and usually fatal, protozoal disease
affecting domestic cats in the south central and southeastern
portions of the United States. Rapid onset and high mortality
characterize it. Those working with the disease put the percentage of
mortality at about 95 percent.

The disease is transmitted when one of two immature stages of the
American dog tick transmits the organism during a blood meal.

"The dog tick can lay as many as 3,000 eggs, of which all hatch into
seed ticks," Dr. Jack Broadhurst, D.V.M., says. "At this stage they
are tick eggs with legs. There are two immature stages of the
development of a tick in which a blood meal from the host, a cat, is
needed. Once the tick is mature it moves off the cat onto a dog. It
is during these immature stages that the tick is the biggest threat
to outside cats. Rabbits, moles and voles in most yards also carry
ticks and spread that on outside cats."

There are no clinical signs of cytauxzoonosis during the first 20
days of infection, when the organism is growing within blood vessels
throughout the cat's body. The first signs are seen three to seven
days before death occurs due to massive organ failure and bleeding
disorders.

"It is a horrible death for the animal," Broadhurst said.

The natural host of cytauxzoonosis is the bobcat. The infected ticks
spread from the bobcats to the free ranging domestic cats, making an
easy entry into the domestic world. The free ranging outside cat has
more contact with wildlife than any other domestic animal, making it
subject to contracting cytauxzoonosis, rabies, fleas, ticks, and a
host of other diseases.

Broadhurst has researched cytauxzoonosis thoroughly, and has
successfully treated a cat with the disease. He says North Carolina
is seeing more bobcats, the natural hosts of the disease, because
they moved east due to the extreme drought in the west.

"When the cat starts showing clinical signs that it is sick, the time
clock has started," he said. "The cat has five to six days before it
is dead. The cells rupture, and the spleen and bone marrow are
affected. The cat goes into shock, and it literally has no blood
left. Its muscles cramp and the cat has a lot of pain."

Broadhurst says a blood test is the key to diagnosing cytauxzoonosis.
Also, he says that veterinarians have to have a clinical sense of
what is going on. He thinks a lot of veterinarians are still unaware
that the disease is on the move throughout North Carolina.

Dr. Richard Oliver, Western North Carolina Diagnostic Laboratory in
Asheville, says there are more sightings of bobcats in the Western
North Carolina area than there have been in recent years. Also, he
has diagnosed cytauxzoonosis in a housecat from the Madison County
area two years ago, confirming that the disease is in the Western
North Carolina area.

Broadhurst says cat owners and veterinarians need to pay attention to
an early profile of the cat, know that the disease is in the
vicinity, recognize that the feline victim is an inside-outside cat,
has had no tick protection, and has had a sudden change in appetite
and ability to walk.

"The veterinarian should insist a cat that is showing any of these
signs be brought into the clinic for testing immediately," he
said. "The veterinarian will take blood and should look for a
definite pattern of high blood glucose, elevated bilirubin, (high
bum), high muscle enzymes, and excessively low white blood count, and
an excessively low blood platelet count."

Broadhurst emphasizes that time is not on the side of the feline
victim or the veterinarian administering treatment, since
cytauxzoonosis kills quickly.

"Once a veterinarian has a good idea that the disease is what is
causing the trouble, treatment has to be started quickly. I have had
success in treating one cat with Imizol. I think it is important that
veterinarians have Imizol in the clinic, because a cat with
cytauxzoonosis doesn't have time for it to be ordered, before it is
dead."

Broadhust may be reached at the Cat Health Clinic in Pinehurst at 910-
295-2287 for additional information.

Oliver recommends that all indoor-outdoor cat owners be vigilant
about ticks on their cats.

"You've got to tick-proof them, and groom them often to find the
ticks," he said.

Given the short clinical phase of cytauzaoonosis, preventing the tick
bite is the only practical approach to controlling this disease.

Dr. Judith Rozelle, of Swannanoa Pet Clinic, recommends cat owners
treat their animals for tick prevention.

"Just about every veterinarian's office has products that can
successfully tick- protect cats," she said. "Any product used must be
labeled for cats, or it can kill the animal. You cannot use tick
products for dogs on cats. Products labeled for dogs are toxic to
cats. Cats have very sensitive systems, and you can kill the cat
trying to save it from ticks if you don't use the right products."

Broadhust recommends cat owners control the population of ticks in
their yards as much as possible.

"Reduce rabbits, moles and voles as much as possible, because they
are another meal for the ticks that get on the cats," he said. "Also
ticks attach themselves to grass, so the grass should be cut short
and bushes cut back so that the cat will not come into contact with
the ticks. Ticks are attracted to moisture, so cats should not be
allowed outside following a rain or early mornings and late afternoon
when the grass is wet.

"Just recently I saw a notice that the American Humane Society
recommended keeping cats inside and not allowing them to roam. This
is a sure way to control the tick problem."

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LYME DISEASE
Copyright 1995, Sarah Hartwell

This tick-borne disease can affect humans, dogs and cats and is currently something of a phenomenon in the US, where it is reinforcing the indoor-only style of cat ownership. Although relatively rare in the UK, the hotter summers are seeing an increase in Lyme disease and according to Which Way to Health Magazine it is frequently overlooked by doctors (and vets) who are unfamiliar with its symptoms. Although Lyme disease itself has been around for centuries, it was only in 1975 that it gained its name after an outbreak of human Lyme disease in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Lyme disease is caused by corkscrew-shaped Borrelia bacteria which are carried inside Ixodes ticks. Ixodes ticks are typically found in grassland or woodland and commonly feed on deer, sheep, horses and rodents though they also attach themselves to cats, dogs and humans. Gorged ticks drop from their hosts and remain in surrounding vegetation between meals. When hungry, they climb aboard suitable hosts which brush through the vegetation.

In America, the disease has become a problem in some regions although it is probably being over diagnosed and some cat owners are becoming almost paranoid about it. Due to its prevalence in areas of abandoned farmland, Lyme disease is well documented in American pet magazines and journals. In Britain, it is less well known despite an article in on human Lyme Disease in the "Which Way To Health" magazine.

In cats, symptoms suggestive of Lyme disease are:
painful or stiff muscles and joints
fatigue
fever
loss of appetite
possibly sudden collapse

Some owners have described Lyme-infected cats as being in a "zombie like trance". Often, Lyme disease is only diagnosed because the owner notices a tick or a tick bite on the cat; otherwise the symptoms are ambiguous and can be mistaken for other illnesses. Studies of cats deliberately infected with Lyme disease showed that some show no symptoms at all! According to American researchers, infected ticks do not start to transmit the bacteria until they have been sucking a host's blood for 10-12 hours which is why it is important to remove ticks as soon as possible.

In humans, early symptoms include:
ring-shaped rash around the site of the tick bite
fever
headache
sore glands
arthritis-like muscular aches
Later symptoms include:
"Lyme arthritis"
painful joints
brain- and nerve-related problems (meningitis, heart and skin problems, paralysis of facial muscles)

Chronic effects have been reported - and denied - in America where the disease is more widespread and apparently more severe than in Britain. Very few tick bites lead to serious complications and Lyme disease in both cats and humans can be treated with antibiotics, treatment being most effective in the early stages.
Pet owners cannot get Lyme disease directly from their pets; it is only transmitted by the ticks which remain in vegetation between meals.

In the US, feline Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics such as amoxicillin, tetracycline and doxycycline; which are quickly effective if treatment is started early. Cats which have had Lyme disease may still become reinfected through subsequent tick-bites. In the US, where the disease is more problematical, there is a vaccine available (with mixed results) for dogs, but none available for cats.
American vets recommend keeping cats indoors as the best way to avoid Lyme disease. Failing that, a tick-collar formulated for use by cats is recommended; many flea collars do not repel ticks and dog's tick collars may be toxic to cats. A daily tick check for free-roaming cats is advisable as is regular spraying with a parasite-spray containing permethrin.

If you live in an area where Lyme disease is likely, check your cat regularly for ticks. Ticks can be carefully removed with tweezers used with a twisting motion. Be careful not to jerk a tick from the skin as its buried mouthparts may be left behind and cause an abscess. Although many people use a drop of alcohol to loosen the tick's grasp, or smother it with petroleum jelly, these methods can cause the tick to regurgitate saliva (which might contain the Borrelia organism) into the bite wound. If your cat does develop worrying symptoms later, remember to tell your vet that it has been bitten by a tick.

The main guidelines used by US cat owners in Lyme-affected areas are:
does your cat show evidence of a tick-bite?
has the cat been exposed to ticks in grassland or woodland where the tick's main hosts are present or an area where cases of Lyme disease have been reported?
is the cat suffering from lameness, painful joints, lethargy, anorexia or low-grade fever?
does a blood test reveal antibodies to the Lyme bacteria?
does an analysis of the offending tick (if it was removed from the cat and kept in a jar) reveal Borrelia bacteria?
do symptoms quickly subside when antibiotics are given?

Even if the answer to all of these is yes, it is still not conclusive proof that Lyme disease is causing the illness since cats in some areas have high antibody levels due to past exposure to Borrelia; but American vets believe it is worthwhile having a blood test done any time Lyme disease is suspected even if this serves only to rule out Borrelia infection as the cause of the cat's symptoms.

Although Lyme disease does not appear to pose a major threat to cats, who seem more resistant to it than humans or dogs, its most dangerous feature is that it may go unrecognized and undiagnosed.
http://www.thepilot.com/news/043003Ticks.html

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The Press
Atlantic City, NJ
July 6, 2003
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes carry infect dogs and cats
By ELAINE ROSE Staff Writer, (609) 272-7215, E-Mail

Fleas and ticks and mosquitoes! Oh my!

A wet spring has led to a near-record crop of mosquitoes in New
Jersey, said Bill Reinert, superintendent of Atlantic County Mosquito
Control. Now that the rain has finally stopped, there are plenty of
ticks, too.

"When the grass is damp, you don't get as many (ticks) as when it's
dry," Reinert said.

When these bugs bite, it can mean more than just a sting or an itch
for you - and your pet. The pesky little critters carry things like
West Nile virus, heartworm and Lyme disease. If your dog or cat
spends a decent amount of time outdoors, contracting one of these
insect-borne illnesses are distinct possibilities.

Lyme disease is quite common in southern New Jersey dogs, but rare in
cats, said Dr. Lori Nordt of the Galloway Animal Hospital.

"I've seen younger dogs walking in here looking like dogs in their
teens, looking like an old dog," Nordt said. "The first thing you
think of is Lyme disease."

Just like humans, dogs get Lyme disease from tick bites, Nordt said.
The tick must feed on the dog for about 12 hours in order to transmit
the bacteria.

Dogs can be vaccinated against Lyme disease, but the vaccine isn't
100 percent effective, Nordt said. Tick repellants such as Frontline
or Advantix, obtained from your veterinarian, kill the ticks. The
vaccine is recommended as additional protection for dogs that spend a
lot of time in the woods.

It's a good idea to check your pet for ticks on a regular basis, and
remove any you may find, Nordt said.

"Dogs can carry them in to you, too," she said. "So if you give your
dogs too much freedom in the woods, it can be dangerous for you."

Unlike humans, dogs rarely exhibit the bulls-eye rash at the site of
the bite, according to the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association.
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are lameness and
acute arthritis. Some infected canines will also show lethargy and a
decreased appetite.

If your dog shows any sign of lameness and hasn't been recently
injured, a trip to the veterinarian is in order, Nordt said. Most
vets can do a blood test for Lyme disease in the office. If the test
comes back positive, the veterinarian will prescribe a month long
regimen of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory to ease stiffness.
Results are usually visible within a few days.

But don't let Lyme disease linger, Nordt said. Unless treated
immediately, the illness can cause long-term arthritic problems. Left
untreated altogether and the dog can suffer kidney failure and death.

Mosquitoes are another summertime pest that can carry disease.

West Nile virus is rare in dogs, but it can occur, Reinert said.

A bigger problem is that mosquitoes are carriers of heartworm, which
can affect both dogs and cats, Nordt said. Especially after a rainy
spring, she advises her canine clients take heartworm preventive
medication. Cats who spend a lot of time outside also can get
heartworm, and they should take the medication as well.

In addition to creating a terrible itch, fleas can also carry
disease, Nordt said.

Both dogs and cats should be treated with a topical insect repellant,
available from veterinarians, Nordt said. Some over-the-counter
collars and preparations may be cheaper, but they don't work as well.

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Rocky Mountain spotted fever threat to pets
2003-06-12
By Jim Killackey
The Oklahoman

The death of a dog in Altus from Rocky Mountain spotted fever has
Oklahoma health authorities urging pet owners to protect their
animals against tick-borne diseases.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever "can occur in animals as frequently as
it occurs in humans," state veterinarian Burke Healey said Wednesday.

In the past 10 years, Oklahoma has had 614 confirmed cases of Rocky
Mountain spotted fever in humans, with 12 deaths from the disease.
Statistics aren't kept on dog deaths from the disease.

Healey said pet owners should use insecticidal collars, sprays,
powders, dips, shampoos and wipes to safeguard animals against
diseases caused by tick bites -- including Rocky Mountain spotted
fever.

He also recommended that pet owners treat their yards for ticks.

The dog was owned by Mike and Linda McLarty of Altus. Linda McLarty
said she and her husband believe they took all the necessary
precautions against ticks with Cassie, an 8-year-old rottweiler.

They would regularly take the dog to two nearby lakes but always
closely checked for ticks and combed the dog when they returned home,
she said.

Three months ago, the large, black- and-tan dog had a high fever
shortly after one visit, she said, and the couple think the dog was
bitten by a tick.

Cassie subsequently started losing weight, dropping from 100 pounds
to 70 pounds, Linda McLarty said. She had trouble walking, wouldn't
eat her food and was no longer affectionate.

The McLartys sought treatment from two Altus veterinarians, she said.
Cassie was given antibiotics, steroids, a blood transfusion and even
herbal medicines.

Two weeks ago, the veterinarians confirmed that Cassie had Rocky
Mountain spotted fever, Linda McLarty said. She didn't, though, have
a rash that normally occurs in humans with the disease.

Cassie's condition worsened, and the dog was euthanized Monday, Linda
McLarty said. The family had her cremated, for burial at a later
date.

"We tried everything because she was everything to us," Linda McLarty
said Wednesday. "I don't want anyone to go through what we've gone
through."

States typically with the most Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases are
Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Carolina. Symptoms of the disease
include a severe headache, fever higher than 100.5 degrees and a
bumpy red rash usually starting on the hands and feet. The rash can
spread to the soles of the feet and palms before finally spreading to
the trunk of the body.
The Oklahoma Publishing Co. and its subsidiary, NewsOK.com.

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http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/edits/letts.htm
Cape Cod Times
Letters
August 11, 2005

Dog aggression may be linked to Lyme I have been a volunteer for a New England breed rescue and recently there was an article published in our newsletter about sudden violence in dogs. It indicated that thyroid levels can be a factor.

Another issue was a high positive for Lyme disease. Once the dogs were placed on antibiotics, the sudden aggression would disappear and the good dispositions would reappear.

When the presence of Lyme is found, the dog should be retested every six months because Lyme tends to regain ground and the dog must go on antibiotics again. Even applying topical tick and flea prevention and Lyme vaccines do not give a dog or cat 100 percent protection from Lyme.

Lyme disease is endemic to the Cape and we need to pursue all methods to protect ourselves and our pets.

Diane Jones
West Barnstable

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http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsliving/191ldcov.htm
Daily Southtown
Tinley Park IL
August 19, 2005

Man's best friend's bitter enemy
Friday, August 19, 2005

By Lisa M. Larranaga
Special to the Daily Southtown

Every couple of months or so, Baxter starts limping, runs a fever and becomes fatigued.

But it's not old age setting in on the 11-year-old Labrador retriever. His ailments come from canine lyme disease, which he contracted six years ago in New York state.

"When Baxter starts limping, you can tell he's not well," said owner Karen Spirk, of Plainfield. "We feel good if he makes it two months without relapsing."

Canine lyme disease - a tick-borne disease that can cause joint, heart and kidney problems - has been detected in the Chicago area this year, the Lyme Disease Alert Network reports. It has detected 24 positive cases in 2005.

According to Spirk family veterinarian Paul Blaso, "It's starting to become an epidemic in the Midwest."

Because of confidentiality agreements, the clinics that diagnosed the dogs cannot be disclosed, said Alison Dunning of Exponent PR, but the positive cases were reported at five clinics in Chicago.

Canine lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacteria that lives in the gut of deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. When an infected tick bites a dog, the bacteria is transmitted into the its bloodstream, often triggering an infection.

Blaso, a vet at the Plainfield Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center, treats Baxter.

"It's often misdiagnosed," Blaso said. "It's very challenging."

When Baxter was infected, the Spirks lived in a heavily wooded area in New York state. Baxter jumped their fence when he was chasing a squirrel, and landed in a bed of ticks. They knew ticks were in the area, so they checked him immediately - something that does not happen often.

"I think it's more common than we see," Blaso said. "The more cases we see, the more aware pet owners will be."

Watching for ticks, Lyme disease

Canine lyme disease has been detected in all 50 states, according to the Lyme Disease Alert Network, but 75 percent of dog owners surveyed in 2005 by IDEXX Laboratories Inc. did not know any of the disease's symptoms.

When dogs are infected, they usually run a fever and have shifting leg lameness, lethargy and loss of appetite. Ticks are more prominent in the spring, but a dog can catch the disease year-round. The best way for dog owners to prevent canine lyme disease is to be aware, Blaso said.

"Be cautious. Keep a good history of your travel, especially if you go out of the area," he said.

If dogs are in heavily wooded or tall-grass areas, it is important to check them for ticks, Blaso said, because experts believe the tick must be attached to the dog's skin for 24 to 48 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.

He also recommended a vaccine or liquid drop, such as Frontline, for dogs that frequently are in wooded areas, such as hunting dogs.

When doctors suspect a dog has canine lyme disease, they look for clinical signs, ask for a history of the dog's whereabouts, and conduct a blood test.

Widespread attack

Ticks generally are found in the Northeastern states, the upper Mississippi region, California and certain areas in the South, according to vetcentric.com, an animal health-care Web site. But Illinois has not been immune.

"Ticks have been found all around the area," said Dr. Roberto Cortinas, research associate with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.

"Ticks are established in northern Illinois, and we've found ticks all around the area," he said, noting that there is an extremely high concentration in Wisconsin. "We always believe it takes time for the agent (bacteria) to set up shop. Birds are most likely moving the bacteria, and it's a matter of time and chance to get the disease."

Cortinas is working with Yale and Michigan State universities on a nationwide survey to locate high populations of ticks.

"It will have an impact on canine lyme disease," Cortinas said. "It's pretty extensive ... our goal is to develop new risk maps for physicians and vets."

An infected dog is put on antibiotics, such as doxycycline or amoxycillin. Because the disease stores in tissue, some dogs recover, and some recover and relapse, Blaso said.

The medicine can range from $45 to $120, Spirk said.

"Every time (Baxter) relapses, he gets two weeks of antibiotics," Spirk said. "It gets very expensive. The antibiotics are not cheap."

The Herald News of Joliet
****
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http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/top/j14lyme.htm
The Herald News
Suburban Chicago, IL
August 14, 2005

Ticks' silent attack
Dogs suffering: Illness often misdiagnosed; pet owners advised to be aware
By Lisa M. Larranaga
STAFF WRITER

PLAINFIELD - Baxter limps, runs a fever and becomes fatigued on a regular basis. The 11-year-old Labrador retriever has had a six-year battle with canine lyme disease and relapses frequently.

"When Baxter starts limping, you can tell he's not well," said Karen Spirk of Plainfield, owner of the dog who caught the disease in New York state several years ago. "We feel good if he makes it two months without relapsing."

Canine lyme disease - a tick-borne disease that can cause joint, heart and kidney problems - has been detected in the Chicago area this year, the Lyme Disease Alert Network reports. It has detected 24 positive cases in 2005.

Due to confidentiality agreements, the clinics that diagnosed the dogs cannot be disclosed, said Alison Dunning of Exponent PR, but she did say the positive cases came from five clinics within the city limits of Chicago.

Canine lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacteria that lives in the gut of deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. When an infected tick bites a dog, the bacteria is transmitted into the its bloodstream, often triggering an infection.

Dr. Paul Blaso, a veterinarian for the Plainfield Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center, treats Baxter.

"It's often misdiagnosed," Blaso said. "It's very challenging."

Baxter was diagnosed before he became a patient at Blaso's clinic on Dayfield Drive.

The Spirks lived in a heavily wooded area in New York state. Baxter jumped their fence when he was chasing a squirrel and landed in a bed of ticks. They knew the ticks were in the area so they checked him immediately - something that does not happen often.

"I think it's more common than we see," Blaso said. "The more cases we see, the more aware pet owners will be."

Canine lyme disease has been detected in all 50 states, according to the Lyme Disease Alert Network, but 75 percent of dog owners surveyed in 2005 by IDEXX Laboratories Inc. did not know any of the disease's symptoms.

When dogs are infected, they usually run a fever and have shifting leg lameness, lethargy and loss of appetite. The best way for dog owners to prevent canine lyme disease is to be aware, Blaso said.

"Be cautious. Keep a good history of your travel, especially if you go out of the area," he said.

If dogs are in heavily wooded or tall-grass areas, it is important to check them for ticks, Blaso said, because experts believe the tick must be attached to the dog's skin for 24 to 48 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.

He also recommended a vaccine or liquid drop, such as Frontline, for dogs who frequently are in wooded areas, such as hunting dogs.

When doctors suspect a dog has canine lyme disease, they look for clinical signs, ask for a history of the dog's whereabouts, and conduct a blood test. Tests can be conducted at a clinic or sent out to a lab. A Snap 3Dx test is done at the office, and a Western Blot is sent out to a lab.

Widespread attack

The ticks generally are found in the Northeastern states, the Upper Mississippi region, California and certain areas in the South, according to vetcentric.com, an animal health-care Web site.

"Ticks have been found all around the area," said Dr. Roberto Cortinas, research associate with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.

"Ticks are established in northern Illinois, and we've found ticks all around the area," he said, noting that they have an extremely high concentration in Wisconsin. "We always believe it takes time for the agent (bacteria) to set up shop. Birds are most likely moving the bacteria, and it's a matter of time and chance to get the disease."

Cortinas is working with Yale and Michigan State universities on a nationwide survey to locate high populations of ticks.

"It will have an impact on canine lyme disease," Cortinas said. "It's pretty extensive ... our goal is to develop new risk maps for physicians and vets."

Costly treatment

An infected dog is put on antibiotics, such as doxycycline or amoxycillin. Because the disease stores in tissue, some dogs recover, and some recover and relapse, Blaso said.

"Every time (Baxter) relapses, he gets two weeks of antibiotics," Spirk said. "It gets very expensive. The antibiotics are not cheap."

The medicine can range from $45 to $120, Spirk said.

Ticks are more prominent in the spring, Blaso said, but a dog can catch the disease year-round.

"It's starting to become an epidemic in the Midwest," he said.

Veterinarian Dr. Paul Blaso gives a check-up to Baxter, a labrador retriever with Lyme Disease, as vet tech Kristie Ruehl helps at Plainfield Veterinary Clinic in Plainfield. Dr. Blaso routinely checks Baxter for increases in lymph node size, heartbeat irregularity , elevated temperature and swelling in the joints.
****
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http://www.heralddemocrat.com/articles/2005/06/21/life/iq_1869683.txt
Herald Democrat
Sherman TX
June 21, 2005

From scratch
Pet owners take caution when choosing anti-flea, tick products
By Amy D. Shojai
P'Etiquette
Fleas and ticks have been around, bugging cats and dogs, for many thousands of years.

Keeping your pets pest-free protects them from itchy aggravation as well as potential life-threatening diseases carried by parasites. Fleabites are painless, but many pets are allergic to flea saliva. Besides itchiness, fleabites can cause skin sores, anemia and tapeworms.

Ticks are eight-legged spider relatives that also live off blood. They carry infectious agents able to make pets sick with babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick paralysis. Cats in our area can become infected with tick-borne cytauxzoonosis and die.

Some dogs and most cats groom away parasites before you ever see them. When pets suffer allergic reactions to the bites they'll scratch their flanks and above the tail, may develop scabs or "hot spots." Part the fur at the base of the tail and look for dark brown specks, which is digested blood excreted by the flea.

Not all flea products are safe for every pet. Pups, kittens and cats are very sensitive and easily poisoned. Chemical flea products meant for dogs can kill cats, so always follow directions. Also be aware that insecticides used near fish tanks or birdcages can prove harmful or fatal to these critters.

Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Inc. has launched a national consumer educational campaign called "Look at the Label" to alert consumers about the need to follow specific label directions for parasite control products products.

Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation about the safest and best parasite control products for your individual pets. Some are distributed only from veterinarians, while a variety can be found at pet products stores or even your local grocery. No matter where you find flea and tick protection, it's vital you educate yourself about safe use.

"The misuse of flea and tick products is, unfortunately, fairly common and often harmful," says Joel Adamson, senior vice president at Sergeant's. "Taking the time to read a product label can mean the difference between the life and illness or death of your pet."

For more detailed information, visit Sergeant's "Look at the label" section at www.sergeants.com.

Many people prefer to use a "natural" approach to control fleas. These treatments take longer, though, and don't work particularly well in heavily-infested regions. Please be aware that "natural" does not mean it is safe. For instance, pennyroyal, often touted as a safe holistic flea treatment, can be extremely toxic to cats.

Rotenone and d-limonene, made from roots and citrus fruit extracts, are effective when used properly.

Flea-eating worms are sold in pet stores and garden shops in powder form, to be mixed with water and sprayed in the yard.

Desiccants cause fleas to dehydrate and die. A derivative of borax used by some commercial pest control companies kills flea larvae and helps break the life cycle. Diatomaceous earth (DE or Diatom Dust) also has a drying effect against fleas and larvae. However, desiccants can be messy to apply.

You can paint baseboards with peppermint or citronella to shoo away fleas with the strong odor. This won't kill the fleas, though, and the smell may repel your pet as well as the flea.

The absolutely safest "natural" flea and tick treatment involves a flea comb and tweezers to mechanically remove the bugs. Keep your lawn clipped short and restrict the pet's ambling through brush. Inside the house use the vacuum cleaner to suck up the eggs, larvae and cocoon stages of the flea and throw away the bag to avoid spreading them around your house. Wash your pet's bedding on a regular basis. A plain-water bath will drown fleas - no insecticide required.

Amy D. Shojai is a nationally-known pet care specialist and author of 21 pet books. She can be reached through her website www.shojai.com.

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http://www.mvtimes.com/Calendar/06232005/visiting_vet.html
The Martha's Vineyard Times
Vineyard Haven MA
June 23, 2005

Visiting Vet
Dogs and ticks an unhealthy mix
June 23, 2005
By Michelle Gerhard Jasny, VMD

Dolly was limping. The day before, she had been playing at the beach with a doggie friend. Perhaps she had just pulled a muscle - but today she felt warm and was acting mopey. Dolly was the fourth dog I saw that week with vague symptoms that raised concerns about Lyme or other tick-borne diseases. Lavender, the lab, had a fever and stiff hind legs and would only eat if hand-fed. Cedar Chips, the Corgi, wasn't eating at all and had a fever. She was also stiff, but that wasn't necessarily unusual, as old injuries from an earlier run-in with a car often caused her to be achy. Merlot, the standard poodle, was less active than usual, occasionally limping, and had a rash. It was the rash that primarily worried her owner, who is a human health care professional. "Does it look like ECM?" she asked. Hmmm. I've been in practice long enough to accept the futility of faking it. "What's ECM?" I replied.

Erythema chronicum migrans. In humans, ECM is defined as a skin lesion that begins as a red spot or bump and expands over a period of days or weeks to form a large, round lesion, often with partial central clearing. In other words, the classic Lyme "bull's eye" rash. According to the CDC, a lesion must reach at least 5 cm in size to officially be called ECM and be used as criteria for reporting a case of human Lyme disease. For those of you who are metric-impaired like me, 5 cm is about 2 inches. In vet school we were told that women compare things to fruit, and men to sports equipment. Ok, that's pretty sexist, but if you need a visual, we're talking a big red splotch the diameter of a large plum or a racquetball ball.

Once I realized what Merlot's owner was talking about, I told her dogs do not get Lyme-related ECM lesions. People, dogs, cats, probably most animals, often develop a circular red swelling within several hours of a tick bite. These represent hypersensitivity reactions and do not qualify as ECM. Merlot's rash was completely different, probably an allergy with a secondary bacterial infection. She was eating well. Her temperature was normal, and her lameness negligible. We tested her for Lyme, which we can do in the office in under 10 minutes, just to be sure. Negative. No Lyme. Her mom was moderately reassured but added that if word ever got out exactly how bad the tick-borne diseases are here on the Vineyard, all our property values would plummet, and the tourists would depart in droves.

Pieces of the puzzle

Maybe she was over-reacting. On the other hand, here came Lavender, the next sick dog. She would eat hand-fed treats, but her appetite was poor, she had trouble getting up, and she had a fever of 103.9 (normal being 101-102.5). Her Lyme test was negative. Her signs were suspicious enough that we sent out tests for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis. Cedar Chips presented a similar scenario: appetite down, temperature up, Lyme negative. We started empirical treatment immediately on both dogs.

Then along came Dolly. Unlike Lavender and Cedar, she was eating well. Good. Unlike Merlot, she had a pronounced limp in her left front leg and a low-grade fever. Bad. Now Dolly is a big, black dog and on a hot day, it's not uncommon for a healthy animal to have an elevated temperature. We knew Dolly might have strained her leg playing. But it's spring on the Vineyard. I was getting tired of this. I hate recommending expensive tests for every dog. I hate giving long-term antibiotics without a diagnosis. But I don't want to miss a case of tick-borne disease. How do we know which cases to seriously consider tick-borne diseases and which dogs just have a sprained ankle, an allergic rash, an environmentally related "fever"?

It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Take the various pieces of history, physical examination, lab tests, and put them together to solve the puzzle. All these dogs were vaccinated against Lyme disease, lowering my index of suspicion for Lyme a notch, but we know the vaccine does not provide 100 percent protection. Test them. Negative? Is there another explanation for a limp or stiffness? Dolly was playing. Cedar had old injuries. Lavender, however, had no history of trauma or excessive exercise and her stiffness came on suddenly. Lethargy and poor appetite? Lots of dogs are less active and eat less in hot weather. Lavender, however, usually loves to eat. Correlate the degree of inappetence with each individual's usual demeanor to assess its significance. Same goes for activity. Many owners mistake the onset of maturity with lethargy. Merlot, who is four now, probably isn't lethargic. She's just growing up and acting less puppyish. If I am suspicious that a "fever" is just a response to
a hot day, I ask owners to check their pets' temperature at home when they are calm and cool.

Tests and treatment

Lab tests, when owners opt to have them, help immensely. Lavender tested positive for Ehrlichiosis. One puzzle solved. For Cedar, the final piece of the puzzle will be her response to treatment. If she gets better, we probably figured right. For Merlot, I didn't see enough evidence to be concerned about tick-borne disease. Dolly was the most ambiguous of the lot. After discussion with her owner, we opted not to treat her empirically for tick-borne disease, at least not yet, but to monitor her temperature, appetite and attitude at home while, treating her leg as a sprain.

Phew. I plopped down at my desk. It had been a long week. I went to my computer to read up on ECM and happened upon a list of articles about unusual Lyme manifestations in people: spontaneous brain hemorrhage, weakness of the tongue leading to trouble speaking, facial palsy, sciatic nerve disease, vertigo, low back pain, children who developed forgetfulness, declining school performance, behavioral changes, headaches and/or decreased vision, and one case of denervation of the muscles of the torso resulting in a primary complaint of "increasing abdominal girth." It was enough to scare the most unflappable Islander. Maybe Merlot's owner was right. Maybe it was time to move. Or maybe Spielberg could come back and make a new movie called "Ticks" so we could promote and market our annual Island Tickfest as a tourist event.
****
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http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/standard/10_10/features/34824-1.html
Fort Detrick Standard
Gaithersburg MD
May 12, 2005
Protect dogs from lyme disease

Lyme disease can result in arthritis pain, fever, fatigue and even death in dogs.

Although the disease is nothing new for humans or dogs, less than half of U.S. dog owners clearly understand how the disease is contracted or its potential symptoms. Despite simple testing and treatment options, many dog owners never realize their dogs are suffering from the disease.

The parks, backyards and woods where dogs love to romp are home to deer ticks and western black-legged ticks--the parasites carrying the bacteria that cause lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and other diseases. By understanding how these tick-borne diseases are spread and discussing possible symptoms with their veterinarians, dog owners can help protect their canine companions.

To determine the misconceptions and misunderstandings of canine lyme disease, a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. dog owners was conducted in 2005 by IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. with support from the American Lyme Disease Foundation. Despite the potential debilitating effects of canine lyme disease, only five percent of dog owners reported that they were concerned about their dogs contracting the disease.

Confused pet owners

Although lyme disease has been reported in all 50 states, 36 percent of surveyed dog owners didn't believe or know their dogs could contract the disease. Of those surveyed, 47 percent did not know any of the repercussions of the disease. More concerning, a staggering 75 percent of dog owners did not know any of the disease symptoms.

Thirty-eight percent of owners reported having no idea how dogs contract lyme disease. Among owners who believed they understood how dogs contract the disease, 31 percent incorrectly blamed dog ticks, 14 percent blamed mosquitoes and five percent thought lyme disease could be contracted from other dogs or people. Deer ticks are the primary source of canine lyme disease, a fact that 43 percent of the survey respondents knew.

For more information about dogs and lyme disease, visit the Web site at http://reporterville.com/caninelymediseasespringadvisory .

Vet visit

Veterinarian Capt. Cary Honnold from the Forest Glen Veterinary Facility at Walter Reed Army Medical Center said a simple blood test is used to determine if dogs have lyme disease. His staff visits Fort Detrick May 25 from 8:30 a.m. to noon to vaccinate or treat pets of eligible military, retirees and family members.
The clinic is located at 600 Schertz St.
To make appointments, call 301-295-7643.

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The Flint Journal
Flint MI
May 7, 2005
Four cases of canine lyme disease reported
FLINT
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Saturday, May 07, 2005
By Ken Palmer
kpalmer@flintjournal.com . 810.766.6313

Genesee Township veterinarian Gregory Boggs is not surprised by a report of four recent canine Lyme disease cases in mid-Michigan.

"It's everywhere," said Boggs, who contracted the disease himself in 1988.

A Maine-based group that tracks Lyme disease in dogs says that cases of the tick-borne illness were reported last month in the Flint, Lapeer and Saginaw areas.

A spokeswoman for the Lyme Disease Alert Network, an industry-led group supported by the American Lyme Disease Foundation, could not immediately identify the clinics that diagnosed the cases.

If there is an outbreak looming in the area, it's news to at least some local veterinarians.

"I haven't seen or heard anything about any Lyme disease cases in the state," said Genesee County Veterinarian Laura Balli. "Nobody has contacted us."

Several other veterinary clinics also reported no recent cases.

Dogs are far more likely than humans to contract Lyme disease, a bacterial infection carried by the deer tick. Accordingly, dog owners are at greater risk of exposure.

Signs of the disease - including swollen joints, fever and fatigue - may not be apparent in dogs until several months after they are infected.

Symptoms of the disease can come and go, as well as vary in intensity.

Priya Nair, an epidemiologist with the Genesee County Health Department, said Lyme cases in humans are rare in the area. The county had one confirmed case last year and none since, she said.

Boggs said he believes he was infected with Lyme disease while he was working on trees.

Although petting a dog won't likely pass the disease, Boggs, said a Lyme-carrying tick could infect someone through a bite.

The most recent canine Lyme case that Boggs has seen was a few years ago when a 5-month-old rottweiler was so sick it couldn't walk.

The disease was caught quick enough that Boggs was able to heal the dog with antibiotics.

The Reese Veterinarian Clinic in Burton has not seen any canine Lyme cases this year, but suggests dog owners give their pets flea and tick repellent.

Dogs used for hunting or that spend a lot of time outdoors are at greater risk, said Kristen Mirelez, a technician at the Burton clinic.

"People should check their dogs over for ticks before they come inside," Mirelez said.

QUICK TAKE

Ticked off?

Signs your dog has Lyme disease:

* Arthritis and lameness that lasts three or more days

* Loss of appetite

* Depression

* Reluctance to move

* Fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes

Source: American Lyme Disease Foundation

****Letters to the Editor (online form):
http://www.mlive.com/contactus/

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http://www.thewgalchannel.com/health/3967078/detail.html
WGAL-TV Channel 8
Lancaster PA
December 2, 2004
Veterinarians See Increase In Lyme Disease
POSTED: 5:57 pm EST December 2, 2004

MT. GRETNA, Pa. -- Lyme disease is on the rise among local pets, and that could be a bad sign for humans.
LYME DISEASE

Tick Dangers
Identifying Ticks Lyme Disease
CDC Lyme Disease Info
The Baileys' white German shepherd, Tucker, was not very frisky just a few months ago.

"I noticed there was an increase in him limping a little bit on his hind legs," Michael Bailey said.

So, Bailey took Tucker to the vet and that limp turned out to be a symptom of Lyme disease.

"I was quite surprised and somewhat concerned," Bailey said. "It would mean a terrible loss."

"Since March, we have probably had 400 to 500 positive cases in dogs," Dr. Jack Rill said.

The number of cases is an increase of four times what Rill saw among dogs last year. Lyme disease can be fatal for pets and debilitating for humans.

Rill said the increase is probably due to the disease becoming more common among the local tick population.

"It's on the increase. It has to be with what we're seeing," Rill said.

It's not just your pet about which you should be worried. Cases among humans are on the rise as well.

In 1998, Lebanon County reported five human Lyme disease cases. That number increased eight-fold by 2003 when there were 40 cases.

There have been similar jumps in surrounding counties and Rill said he would not be surprised to see another big increase this year.

"I think I have at least 40 clients that came in here and told me they've already been diagnosed with Lyme," Rill said.

"Our human neighbor down the street had Lyme disease about a few years ago -- quite a serious case," Natalie Bailey said.

The Baileys said they'll be keeping a closer eye for ticks on Tucker and themselves.

"It's a very difficult disease to cure," Natalie Bailey said.

The most common symptom of Lyme disease in dogs is lameness.

The disease can make people feel very tired. It can also cause rashes and muscle aches.

Copyright 2004 by TheWGALChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
***
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http://www.thewgalchannel.com/wgal8/index.html

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http://www.news24houston.com/content/headlines/?ArID=30680&SecID=2
News24
Houston TX
Pet Zone: Protecting pets from ticks
6/14/2004 6:24 AM
By: Brette Lea

They're out lurking in the woods, bushes and grass -- one of the horrors of summer.

Ticks are invading early this year, and 2004 is expected to be a record year.

"Places you're going to look for -- up around the ears [is] one big area ticks go for, underneath their neck, underneath these nice, dark hidden places, on their feet," Dr. Craig Prior says.

Ticks can hide anywhere, and they can cause the same diseases in pets as humans.

Since 1990, the number of Lyme disease case in humans has nearly tripled, and pets are more susceptible than we are.

But just looking for ticks isn't enough. In fact, nearly 70 percent of cases where pets are diagnosed with tick-borne diseases, the owner never saw a tick.

For more information

Pet Net Reports
Tick Alert [RoseNote: Go to URL at top of page and click on hot links.]

Dr. Prior says prevention is the key with products like Frontline.

"You can almost liken it to a scotch guard effect," Dr. Prior says. "It just sticks to the skin and coat, and kills fleas and ticks.

There are products for cats and dogs, but one is not necessarily safe for the other. In fact, the misuse of flea and tick products is a leading cause of summer time pet poisonings.

"Not just your pet getting ill, but those ticks your pets bring into the house can then get on you," Dr. Prior says.

Ticks

Keep your pets and yourself safe from ticks and the diseases they carry.
When you're shopping for tick repellent, keep in mind some products for dogs contain permethin, which can be fatal to cats.

Make sure you consult with your vet if you have any questions about what kind of tick repellant you should use on your pets.

And if you want to know how bad ticks are going to be in your neighborhood this year, go to www.tickalert.com.

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It's really interesting that alot of the vet's in these articles recommend & treat dogs on clinical symptoms alone & often don't wait for the western blot to come back.AND treat for a minimun of one month or more.

A person goes in with the same senario & they get the shaft,the run around & are lucky now to get two weeks of abx.

Animals are getting better treatment than humans in this country.

What's wrong with this picture?

--------------------
5dana8

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Tick-borne diseases go way beyond Lyme

Fran Pennock Shaw
20 August 2007

Lancaster New Era/Intelligencer Journal/Sunday News
© 2007 Lancaster New Era/Intelligencer
Journal/Sunday News. Provided
by ProQuest Information and Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Tick study HOW TO remove ticks from pets

Intelligencer Journal Correspondent

Ticks aren't found just in the woods anymore, and neither are the many illnesses that ticks can give both pets and people.

"We are seeing Lyme disease mostly in backyard dogs now," said veterinarian Monica Daniel of Warwick Run Animal Clinic. "Ticks are anywhere there are trees, hedges or fence rows."

"Are warmer temperatures in general allowing ticks to migrate?" mused Stephen K. Young, a veterinarian at Willow Street Animal Hospital. I'll pick ticks off dogs in January."

Researchers now know a tick, in one bite, can transmit multiple diseases, most with no cure.

Disease symptoms can be controlled, although sometimes not with the same drugs. Dogs infected with more than one disease often become more seriously ill.

Most commonly, it's dogs that are diagnosed with tick-borne diseases, but ticks also infect horses, cats, cows, rodents and other animals. Pets can also suffer infected bites, inflammatory skin reactions or
paralysis and death from the saliva of certain tick species. (Tick Paralysis)

Lyme disease, the best known tick-borne illness, has spread to every state and is endemic in Pennsylvania. Most local veterinarians therefore recommend tick-control products and vaccinating dogs for Lyme.

Young, for example, said half of his canine patients now are vaccinated. He's also screened three cats with Lyme antibodies.

Many vets test dogs annually for three tick-borne diseases - Lyme, canine ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. More cases are being diagnosed since the introduction of rapid-screening tests, approved only for dogs, that analyze blood in 10 minutes in the veterinarian's office.

A positive test only means the dog has developed antibodies - not that it is or will become sick. For example, vaccinated dogs test positive.

The bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) are carried here by the deer tick. A tick must be attached about 36 hours to transmit infection.

Pets themselves don't transmit Lyme disease, but "your dog is a sentinel because you go to the same places," said veterinarian Krista Corey, president of the Conestoga Veterinary Medical Association.

At the Manheim Pike Veterinary Hospital where she works, between 7 percent and 8 percent of the 1,500 dogs tested last year were positive.

Fifty percent or more of dogs in "hot" regions like Lancaster will be positive, explained Cornell University researcher and veterinarian Richard Goldstein. But only 10 percent to 20 percent of infected dogs show Lyme symptoms like intermittent lameness, hot or swollen joints and fever.

"It typically takes two to five months to show signs," Goldstein said, and veterinarians disagree about whether to treat patients that have had positive test results but exhibit no symptoms. Tetracycline- class antibiotics can control Lyme and many other tick- borne diseases.

"If we treat it within the first few days of noticing lameness, (dogs) can make a full recovery," veterinarian Daniel noted. "But cartilage damage may still have occurred and they may develop arthritis later on."

Left untreated, Lyme may also cause heart, respiratory, and neurologic disorders. Labrador and golden retrievers seem susceptible to Lyme nephritis, which causes kidney failure.

"Typically, the dog dies within weeks if it's not caught early," said Goldstein, but "by testing the urine for protein in Lyme- positive dogs - which I recommend regardless of breed - you can treat it."

Among other emerging tick-borne diseases, canine Anaplasmosis, like Lyme disease, is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick. It results in blood disorders and can be difficult to diagnose from early signs that include fever, lethargy and muscle pain, and hemorrhages in later stages.

Ehrlichiosis is a group of diseases caused by different strains of Ehrlichia bacteria. One known carrier, the common brown dog tick, can transmit Ehrlichia for five months after engorgement, enabling year-round infection.

Not all animals show signs of fever, swollen lymph nodes, exercise intolerance or nosebleeds. Infected dogs may recover naturally; others develop chronic illness. German shepherds and dobermans seem more prone.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is caused by an organism carried by the American dog and brown dog ticks, both found here.

Signs include fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, vomiting and fatigue. In later stages, dogs can develop skin lesions, vision problems, nosebleeds, anemia and neurologic signs including behavior changes, head tremors and difficulty standing or walking.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like blood disease which can be fatal, but most dogs recover with anti-protozoa drugs and supportive therapy. Two species of Babesia which infect dogs are carried by the brown dog, American dog and deer ticks.

Ticks feed for 24 to 36 hours before transmitting the organisms. Although dogs may be asymptomatic, early signs include pale gums, weakness and vomiting.

Bartonellosis is thought be increasingly common in dogs infected with ehrlichiosis and/or babesiosis.

At least 16 species of Bartonella bacteria are known, including Bartonella henselae in cats. That's transmitted by fleas and causes cat scratch disease in humans. Although infected fleas bite dogs, the cat-specific bacteria are not thought to infect canines.

It's uncertain how bartonellosis affects dogs and cats long term. It may worsen Ehrlichia/Babesia infections or cause chronic infection without noticeable signs. In late stages, bartonellosis can cause heart or liver disease.

Hepatozoonosis is caused by a parasite carried by the brown dog tick. Dogs are usually infected when they eat infected ticks.

The ingested organism affects the liver, spleen, muscles, bone marrow and lungs. Signs include inflammation, fever, ocular and nasal discharge and bloody diarrhea. Healthy dogs can stay asymptomatic, but otherwise-compromised dogs can die.

Haemobartonellosis is a potentially fatal tick- and flea- transmitted blood disease. The disease can also be passed by blood transfusions and canine mothers when they give birth.

Dogs may not appear sick unless they are immune-compromised or co-infected with ehrlichiosis or babesiosis. Acute signs include loss of appetite and weight, fever and anemia.

Coxiellosis, or Q Fever, is a highly infectious disease which can be transmitted from animal to human. It causes liver, kidney, cardiovascular and respiratory illness.

Dogs may get the bacteria from brown dog tick bites but, more often, from inhaling the organism, eating infected animals' meat or milk, or from infected birthing tissue, urine or feces. Sheep, goats and cattle are carriers, so farm dogs are at higher risk.

Tularemia is caused by a microorganism carried by the American dog tick. It can also be transmitted by eating infected rabbits or rodents.

Dogs and cats are thought to be resistant to the disease, but it can cause pneumonia and kill humans. Some human cases have been reported from bites or scratches from infected animals.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now list tularemia as a "high priority category" for bioterrorism, and Q-fever as a second highest priority threat.

Richard Goldstein's canine Lyme disease research includes a study of Labrador and golden retrievers diagnosed with Lyme.

If interested in donating blood and urine samples, e-mail him at rg225@cornell.edu.

Defend against tick-borne diseases by checking for ticks - and removing them immediately - whenever pets are outdoors.

Here are some safety tips:

Wear gloves and use fine-pointed tweezers.

Grab close to the skin and pull straight back, gently. Don't squeeze or twist the tick. That could release more bacteria.

Don't cover the tick with petroleum jelly or mineral oil, because ticks can store oxygen and keep feeding.

Put the tick in a sealed container or small plastic bag in the trash. Do not crush it, because tick-borne pathogens can sometimes be inhaled. Don't flush live ticks, because they can survive in water.

Clean the wound with soap, water and an alcohol swab.

The tick's mouth may remain attached to your pet and need to be removed by a veterinarian. Don't try burning off the tick or its parts. "That will cause a lot more damage than the tick bite itself," said veterinarian Stephen Young.

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MU researchers study tick-borne feline disease
Apr 20, 2009
DVM NEWSMAGAZINE


Columbia, Mo. -- Researchers at the University of Missouri are studying a tick-borne disease that kills housecats within three to five days after the onset of illness.

The incidence of Cytauxzoonosis, caused by the protozoan parasite Cytauxzoan felis, in domestic cats is not known, but researchers are trying to determine those numbers and eventually find a preventive. Leah Cohn, a professor and associate department chair of veterinary medicine and surgery at the school, is the lead researcher.

During the 12-day incubation period a cat may exhibit no symptoms, but then show a pale to white gum line, lethargy, jaundice, fever and then die within three to five days.

The native bobcat is known to be the original host of the organism, which then is picked up by ticks and spread to domestic cats. The disease originally was believed to exist only in parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, but recently has been reported throughout the Southeast and as far northeast as Pennsylvania, researchers say.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supported early research into the disease several years ago when it was believed the disease threatened livestock, but dropped funding when it learned only cats were affected. Cohn resumed the research three years ago, and this year received study grants from the ALSAM Foundation and WINN Feline Foundation.

A definitive diagnosis of Cytauxzoonosis is difficult because of the quick death of cats and because many owners elect to euthanize cats with the life-threatening symptoms without paying for further investigation, veterinarians say.

http://tinyurl.com/c533pd

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I'm not quite convinced about these quick vet TBD tests... if it were that easy, we would all be able to get easy answers, right?

.....

The Martha's Vineyard Times
Visiting Veterinarian : No quick answers

By Michelle Gerhard Jasny V.M.D.
Published: June 18, 2009

Keaton, a four-year-old golden retriever, arrived at my office one spring day for a sudden onset of lethargy and lack of appetite. The only abnormality on physical examination was a whopping fever of 104. Twenty-five years ago, these cases were easy. "Your dog has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever," I would pronounce, then equivocate slightly: "Either that, or Lyme disease."

The explanations were not too time-consuming, treatment not too expensive. We had no in-house tests for tick-borne diseases and virtually everyone declined send-out tests to veterinary reference labs. I would give a few injections, then send owners home with a vial of pills, assuring them their pups would be right as rain in a few days - and most were.

Nowadays, we know so much more about tick-borne diseases and have a wider array of diagnostic options, which is great except all these medical advances are making my job way complicated.

"Your dog probably has one of the tick-borne diseases," I told Keaton's owner. "Could be Lyme, Anaplasmosis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever." I flipped back through Keaton's record.

Bear with me. This is where it gets confusing. For eight years now, we have had the 3DX test we can run quickly right in the office. It screens for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme, to Ehrlichia canis, which we rarely see on the Vineyard except in dogs that contracted it elsewhere, and to heartworm. A positive test does not necessarily mean a dog is currently infected. It means he has been exposed to the organism and his body has responded by making antibodies. The test is not affected by vaccination nor does it indicate immunity against reinfection. Keaton first tested 3DX Lyme positive three years ago, at which time we treated with antibiotics.

Not unusually, Keaton continued to test positive in subsequent years. His owner followed up with the Lyme Quantitative C6 titer, a send-out test that became available in 2005, which helps differentiate between exposure and infection. Keaton's QC6 supported the conclusion that he had persistent antibodies, not active Lyme infection.

But wait. There's more. In 2007, the 4DX test became available. It screens for antibodies to one additional tick-borne disease caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, an organism that used to be called Ehrlichia equi, until scientists reclassified and renamed it a few years back. Keaton first tested Anaplasma positive during a routine screen at his 2008 annual physical. His diligent owner once again approved further tests, this time one called an Ehrlichia PCR, which confirmed that Keaton, like many other Vineyard dogs, had persistent antibodies, but was not currently infected - which brings us to his visit in May 2009, when he is one sick puppy.

"It's probably Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever," I began, "or it could be Lyme, or Anaplasmosis. We'll do the 4DX test right here, but since he's been testing positive for years, that may not help much."

I mixed three drops of blood with the proper reagent, poured it into the little plastic apparatus, then snapped it shut to activate. In a few minutes, we would look for blue dots in the result window. The 4DX works much like reading a home pregnancy test. Theoretically it is strictly qualitative, not quantitative. In other words, any color change at all is considered positive, whether it is a faint pale dot or a dark, intense color. Now a human pregnancy test is also qualitative. Either you are pregnant or you are not. But the higher the levels of pregnancy hormones in an expectant mother's urine, the darker the result may appear in the window. I find the depth of the blue color on the 4DX sometimes correlates with antibody levels, and that truly infected dogs often have darker spots. Although not scientifically documented, I still use this observation as a small piece of the diagnostic puzzle. When Keaton's 4DX showed the exact same faint blue dots he had years past, I found it hard to believe these indicated current, active infections.

"Positive for Lyme and Anaplasma antibodies," I announced. "But that's no big surprise. I still think it's Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The treatments are all similar but if we want definitive diagnosis, we need more tests."

Keaton's dad readily agreed, but there was one more thing to clarify. Different diseases have different amounts of time between infection, onset of clinical signs, and antibody production. For example, with Lyme, an animal almost invariably produces antibodies by the time symptoms occur. If your dog is sick and the 4DX is negative, it ain't Lyme. Not so with Rocky Mountain. A dog can get sick so fast after infection that he arrives at the veterinarian's before his immune system is making antibodies.

"Sometimes the initial Rocky Mountain test is negative," I explained. "To know for sure, we might need a convalescent titer in two to three weeks. The good news is that, because antibodies to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever don't persist for very long, a high titer in a sick dog is pretty definitive for infection."

I gave Keaton an injection to bring his fever down, another of intravenous antibiotics, and sent him home with a vial of pills. Over time, lab results trickled in. Lyme Quantitative C6: very low. I called the owner. It wasn't Lyme disease. PCR tests: negative. I called the owner. It wasn't Anaplasmosis. First Rocky Mountain titer: negative.

Sigh. I called the owner.

Three weeks later, this dedicated dad brought Keaton back for a convalescent titer. A few days later we had our answer. The convalescent titer was sky high. It was Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I was happy to have a definitive diagnosis, and that Keaton was already feeling right as rain - but 25 years ago, these cases sure seemed a lot easier.

This page URL:
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My personal comments in parentheses.

...

Ticking time bombs for outdoor dogs in the summer

BY Amy Sacks
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Saturday, June 6th 2009, 4:00 AM
Schwartz for News

Pals "Otto" and "Lola" check each other for ticks while waiting for a walk in the park. (photo)

Tick, flea and mosquito season is officially in full swing, and experts warn that all outdoor pets should be properly armed against disease.

"Ticks are a tough problem, and so far it's been a horrible season," said Dr. Leslie Jackson, a veterinarian with the Saugerties Animal Hospital, near upstate Woodstock, a popular summer destination for many urban dogs.

Fleas and ticks carry a number of diseases that are not only dangerous for dogs and cats, but for humans as well. The pesky pests can be passed in the dog park or even while you are sleeping in bed with your pet.

Deer ticks, which are the size of a pinhead, can spread disease and are prevalent on Long Island's East End, the Catskills and wherever deer roam.

The American dog tick, which is larger, is found in the city and may spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. I recently found one on my dog Ruby after she was rolling around in a patch of tall grass in the West Village.

Deer ticks may carry Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The tick has to be attached for 48 hours to spread disease. (please do not believe this) Fleas can carry tapeworms, Bartonella, Typhus and even the Plague.

Jackson says good pest control is vital for any cat or dog that goes outdoors, although no prevention is 100% effective.

She said many owners were alarmed after the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a warning to closely follow instructions on many popular "spot-on" flea and tick treatments while it investigates thousands of reports about adverse reactions from the topical liquid pesticides. You can see the warning at www.epa.gov.

Despite the toxicity and possible adverse reactions of "spot-on" products, many vets argue the benefit outweighs the risk of disease.

"You have to weigh the pros and cons," Jackson said. When it comes to flea and tick protection, she said the bottom line is to consult with a vet you trust and who understands your lifestyle.

Dr. Phillip Raclyn, of Riverside Animal Hospital in Manhattan, has seen few reactions from prescription products and recommends using the Preventick collar, in addition to Frontline, Vectra or Revolution topical products.

Most adverse reactions, he said, result from products sold over the counter in pet stores or purchased online, where the origin is uncertain.

A Lyme vaccine also is available, but controversy remains over its effectiveness and safety.

Natural flea and tick remedies can also be effective, if used properly.

Dr. Kristine Young, medical director and co-owner of Hope Veterinary Services in Brooklyn, recommends Parasite Dust, a nontoxic product that acts as a natural insecticide. Exercise and a diet of fresh cooked or raw foods will also help keep pests away.

"A healthier animal is not going to be so prone to getting these parasites," she said.

Other natural remedies include garlic to repel fleas, sprays made from essential oils, and powder such as Earth Animal's Internal Powder, which is mixed with food.

If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers. Tick Nipper is a nifty device that has a magnifying glass and bowl to catch the tick, and is sold at Whiskers Holistic on E. Ninth St. in the East Village. To kill fleas, try using Earth Animal's Bug Off or an organic flea bath at Puppy Love, also on E.Ninth.

To keep pests out of your home, comb your pet regularly with a flea comb, vacuum frequently, wash pet bedding weekly, bathe your pet with a pesticide-free pet shampoo and check for ticks every day during tick season. (with gloves on please)

amy.sacks1@gmail.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/06/06/2009-06-06_ticking_time_bombs.html

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Time of season for ticks to latch on to indoor, outdoor pets
By Kevin Castle

Published June 20th, 2009

KINGSPORT -- Rain is falling and grass is growing. That means the platform for ticks to get onto your pet just got a little taller.

Veterinarian Andy Cherry of Cherry Point Animal Hospital says late spring and all of summer is a tick's prime time to latch on to dogs and cats.

``All of the yards and fields are full of grass and weeds because of the rains we've been getting, and that's just the jumping off point for ticks,'' said Cherry.

``They're on the ends of the grass blades or the weed tips and when the dog or cat walks by, the ticks can just fall onto them. The bad thing is that when we go to pet them or pick them up, the ticks can get onto us and they carry all kinds of things.''

Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are the most recognized tick-borne illnesses, but other ailments can occur in humans if the tick's bite enters the bloodstream.

Those, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:

* Babesiosis -- This attacks the red blood cells and can cause flu-like symptoms, leading to anemia, kidney malfunction, and jaundice in some cases.

* Ehrlichiosis -- An infected tick can spread the bacterial disease to animals and humans. Symptoms include muscle aches, joint pain, and occasional rash.

* Southern tick-associated rash illness -- similar to Lyme disease in the rash that accompanies it, the Lone Star tick, found in most Southern states, carries it.

Cherry recommends prescription-based medications that are found at veterinarian clinics as a strong defense for pets against ticks and fleas.

``We've noticed that some off-brand or other 30-day treatments are very toxic to dogs and cats, so we have been telling our pet owners to stick with things like Advantix or Frontline,'' said Cherry, whose office just completed treatment on a cat whose skin was damaged by a retail treatment.

``All the animals you have have to be treated. Just because the indoor pets stay in the house does not mean they are immune from the insect pests,'' Cherry said.

The Tennessee Department of Health reports a spike in Rocky Mountain spotted fever in 2009 with 46 cases already reported in comparison with only 19 last year.

Only four cases of Lyme disease have been identified by state health officials this year, according to the TDH Weekly Surveillance Report.

If you find a tick crawling on your dog or cat, pull it off the animal with tweezers.

``Make sure you get the head out and start at the base of the tick when you pull with general or slight pressure. Make sure the head has not sunk into the skin. If you see swelling, irritation, itching or a red ring around a scab, the head has gone in and the animal needs to be treated,'' said Cherry.

He said those signs of a disease will not make themselves known, in an animal or a human, until days after the initial bite.

He also said the number of pets he has treated for fleas has risen in the past few weeks.

``The moisture, humidity, and heat have really stirred the fleas up,'' he said. ``One of their main hangouts is around mulch. They cannot stay in direct sunlight and they are always looking for a cool spot, so mulch piles, maybe around home landscaping or flowers, is a prime stop for fleas, and that is usually where our pets sniff around at.''

A complete list of tick species and related tick-borne illness is available for research at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/StopTicks/.

http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9014681

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How to properly prevent gingivitis in pets

Ask Dr. Watts - Dr. Michael Watts/Vet Care, clevengerscorner.com
Published: June 22, 2009

Q: Despite having my cat's teeth cleaned just three months ago, her gums are all red. How can I keep ahead of this problem?

A: In most pets, inflammation of the gums occurs due to bacteria present in tarter accumulations on the teeth. In certain cats, gingivitis can be a chronic primary disease process. In these cats, even perfectly clean teeth can be surrounded by red, inflamed gums. The inflammation can lead to damage to the teeth and the ligaments that hold them in place. Most cats with chronic gingivitis end of losing most or all of their teeth.

For many of these cats, regular tooth brushing and application of an antiseptic gel will reduce the inflammation. Others respond to ``pulsed therapy'' antibiotics given the first few days of every month. Some respond to frequent professional cleanings every four to six months. However, there are some cats that continue to experience gingivitis despite these aggressive therapies.

It has been proposed the inflammation may be a type of allergic reaction against dental tarter or oral bacteria. This theory is supported by the fact that extraction of all the teeth frequently resolves the inflammation.

Many chronic gingivitis cats have been found to harbor underlying viruses or bacteria that contribute to the disease. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), and Calicivirus have long been linked to gingivitis.

*****

A more recent discovery, a high percentage of chronic gingivitis cats test positive for a potentially dangerous bacteria called Bartonella. Cats are primarily infected from flea bites. Once exposed, cats can develop a chronic bacterial infection, often with little or no symptoms.

Recent studies have demonstrated 20-35% of cats carry the bacteria. At a nearby clinical investigation site in Falls Church, Virginia, owners were asked about risk factors for Bartonella exposure (history of fleas, spends time outside, came from a shelter).

Even in the group of cats declared to have no risk factors by their owners, one in four cats tested positive for the bacteria!

In at risk patients, 37% were positive. If there was any evidence of chronic inflammation, including gingivitis, cats had a 42% chance of testing positive for Bartonella.

The most familiar type of Bartonella infection in people is ``cat scratch disease'' (CSD). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 24,000 people are affected annually in the United States. CSD most commonly causes enlarged lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite.

However, ``Bartonella originating from cats can infect people and cause at least twenty-four chronic inflammatory diseases and may even cause fatalities,'' according to Dr. William Hardy of the National Veterinary Laboratory, Inc.

``Immunosuppressed people are more likely to have severe consequences and more likely to die from their Bartonella infection.''

*****

Fortunately, the majority of cats that carry this bacteria can be successfully cleared of the infection. According to Dr. Hardy's research, treatment is successful in over 80% of cats.

He recommends using a Western Blot blood test to test cats before introducing them to a household. He strongly encourages veterinarians to test any cat experiencing chronic inflammation, like gingivitis. If a cat is positive, it should be treated using special types of antibiotics for three to six weeks. Six months after treatment, a repeat Western Blot should detect a drastic drop in antibody titers.

Dr. Hardy also advocates keeping cats inside and using a high quality flea and tick control product on all cats, all year. Bartonella infections in humans generally follow a scratch from an infected cat. However, the bacteria is found in high concentrations in flea feces and there is some evidence that the bacteria could be transmitted to a person through a flea bite. Regular use of veterinary-quality flea control has been shown to inhibit the ability of the bacteria to spread.

For more information on Bartonella in cats, visit NatVetLab.com. For information on effective control of fleas, roundworms, and other cat parasites that can affect human health, visit Revolution4cats.com.

The CDC also publishes a list of precautions for pet owners with HIV at cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/brochure/oi_pets.htm. Their suggestions are excellent for everyone, especially households with small children, senior citizens, or immune compromised individuals (diabetes, chemotherapy, autoimmune diseases, etc.).

Dr. Watts is a companion animal general practitioner and owner of Clevengers Corner Veterinary Care. He can be reached through ClevengersCorner.com or by calling 428-1000.

http://www.starexponent.com/cse/lifestyles/culpeper_news/article/how_to_properly_prevent_gingivitis_in_pets/37909/

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sizzled
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Bartonella hensalae?
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Melanie Reber
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It doesn't really say does it Mizz Sizz. I would surmise Bart h. because it speaks to the cat becoming infected from a flea and that is usually Bart h.

But it isn't really clear if the Bart in the cats they are finding is the same CSD (Bart h) they then go on to discuss.

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Melanie Reber
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However, ``Bartonella originating from cats can infect people and cause at least twenty-four chronic inflammatory diseases and may even cause fatalities,'' according to Dr. William Hardy of the National Veterinary Laboratory, Inc.

``Immunosuppressed people are more likely to have severe consequences and more likely to die from their Bartonella infection.''

This is actually the first time I have seen this in print too, and am wondering what the other 23 infections are???

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Melanie Reber
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Detectability of tick-borne agents DNA in the blood of dogs, undergoing treatment for borreliosis.
Wodecka B, Rymaszewska A, Sawczuk M, Skotarczak B:
Ann Agric Environ Med 2009, 16, 9-14.

Abstract: In the wake of controversies surrounding the usefulness of PCR in the diagnostics of borreliosis, the aim of the presented study was to monitor the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in dogs with clinical borreliosis in the course of relevant treatment.

The monitoring was based on detecting borrelia's DNA before- (study I), during- (study II), and after completion of the therapy (study III). In addition, to rule out possible coinfections, the dogs' blood was examined for the presence of anaplasma, babesia and rickettsia. Blood samples taken from 11 dogs, with clinically detected borreliosis, were used for obtaining DNA for PCR.

Positive results of PCR, with primers complementary to the fla gene, indicating the presence of DNA of B. burgdorferi s.l., were noted, in study I, in the blood of 7 dogs (63.6% dogs), in study II in 3 dogs, while in study III all blood samples were negative. In 6 out of 7 PCR+, the first study was carried out during week 1. Therefore, the PCR method is useful for monitoring early canine infections with spirochetes B. burgdorferi s.l. In all positive samples, subjected to PCR-RFLP, it was the case of a single genospecies, i.e. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Studies for the presence of DNA of Babesia sp., as well as DNA of Ricettsia helvetica, were negative in all samples.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA was detected in the blood of a single dog, and only in study I. The same dog also proved positive for the presence of borrelia DNA. Co-occurrence of both pathogens did not disturb the clinical picture of borreliosis, and the administered treatment was also effective for the mixed infection.

Address for correspondence: Department of Genetics, al. Piastow 40b, 71-065 Szczecin, Poland. E-mail: boskot@univ.szczecin.pl

(thanks LymeInfo)

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sizzled
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Thank-you, Melanie!!!
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TX Lyme Mom
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Most of these articles are collected from news reports. However, there are many good references in the medical literature also, and searching via Google Scholar is the best way to find them. For example, "Lyme Borreliosis in Domestic Animals"

http://www.jstd.org/journal/vol1no1/v1n1_domestic.pdf

Here's a link to Google Scholar:

http://scholar.google.com/

And here's a link to a similar topic here at LymeNet where I wrote the following in response to a question about whether cats can get Lyme disease. The answer is: Yes, not only can cats get Lyme, but that can also transmit Lyme disease. (I will copy and paste that response again here, below, so that it won't be lost later when the moderators delete older topics.) You may find these comments illuminating because they hint at the political nature of Lyme disease in pets, also.

-------------------------------------------------

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/1/86515?

YES, cats can get Lyme. How can I say that with certainty?

My husband is a professor in the College of Science here at Texas A&M University where we have an excellent College of Veterinary Medicine. About 15 years ago, he was on a committee for a PhD candidate from the College of Veterinary Medicine whose PhD dissertation was on the transmission of Lyme disease by cat fleas. At one point in time, he had a copy of that PhD dissertation on his bookshelf, but after the oral exam, we sent his copy of the dissertation to a Lyme support leader in the NE.

Thus, I cannot easily refer to it now -- without hunting a parking place and combing the stacks at the medical library. (Hunting a parking place is the deterring factor for me!)

Nevertheless, what I can recall from having read that dissertation some 15 years ago is that what led to the experiment was that a veterinarian had become infected with Lyme disease while doing an autopsy on a dead cat when a flea from the cat jumped onto his bare arm (above the rubber gloved area).

In order to demonstrate that cat fleas can transmit Lyme disease, a PhD candidate in the vet school chose to do his dissertation research project on trying to prove or disprove whether cat fleas can transmit Lyme disease.

The conclusion was that cat fleas can transmite Lyme disease, and this fact was even printed up in brochures distributed by our Texas Department of Health -- although those brochures were eventually taken out of circulation after Lyme disease became overly politicized.

Here's where things get murky though. Remember, all of this occurred back before there were any good tick and flea repellants for dogs and cats. Well, the bottom line is that this dissertation never saw the light of day in print in any veterinary journal, which is what would usually happen with research of this nature. Instead, it sat forgotten, collecting dust on the library shelf. One can only wonder why.

My guess is that this research was just too political to be published -- although in all fairness, perhaps someone on an editorial board found fault with the design of the research project and axed it without publishing it for that reason alone.

Think about it though. If this research had become common knowledge some 15 years ago -- ie, before the introduction of effective flea and tick prevention -- then many families might have become too afraid to want to own pets, especially household cats, and a lot of neighborhood veterinarians might have gone hungry. That's my cynical take on the matter.

Oddly enough, the research was finally published, but not until 10 years later! Here's the link to it:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/t4q4615xu970n6wk/

The abstract doesn't explain as much about it as I've told you -- about how this research project came about. That discussion came out during the oral examination and was the most interesting part of it, to my mind -- although I doubt that it was written up in the journal article. All I can recall is what my husband told me about it after sitting in on the oral presentation.

You are probably wondering why I can't ask him more about it now to refresh my memory, but let me explain how these PhD dissertation committees work. My husband is not a veterinarian. He teaches in the College of Science. However, all PhD advisory committees are required to have one "outsider" on the committee, just to keep things on the up-and-up. For example, a PhD chemistry candidate might have a chicken farmer sitting on his PhD advisory committee, while a PhD vet candidate might have an astronomer sitting on his dissertation advisory committee.

Something else of interest to y'all here at Lymenet is what I found via Google Scholar, while looking for the link to this abstract, so here's the link to the results of my Google Scholar search. (Notice my choice of search terms because you might succeed in finding other good stuff by changing the search terms slightly. BTW, Google Scholar is superior to a regular Google search for this purpose. If you aren't acquainted with Google Scholar, you're missing out.)

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Lyme+disease+%2B+cat+model+%2B+Gibson&hl=en&btnG=Search

Are we having fun yet, or what?


Addendum:
One further comment about the state of Lyme disease in animals here in Texas. Fire ants moved into our county about 10 years ago, and when fire ants move in, ticks are eliminated by the formic acid from the fire ants.

Thus, the veterinarians here at TAMU aren't seeing nearly as much Lyme disease in the university's small animal clinic anymore, leading them to conclude that Lyme disease isn't of very much concern in our state -- since most of the small animals that are referred to the university vet clinic are from the local area, of course.

Also, the epidemiologist who was hired at the Texas Department of Health back in 1983 retired and left the state after her work was defunded and she was assigned to other projects. All of her epidemiological studies about the prevalence of Lyme disease in Texas have been removed from the TDH website, including her valuable maps.

It's bad for state tourism, you know, to admit that our state might be endemic for Lyme -- especially those counties which border along the Trinity and Brazos Rivers which form a natural route for migratory birds to disseminate Lyme throughout some parts of our state.

Ticks like damp climates, and half of our state is wet and humid. Those areas which don't have fire ants yet ... well, you can guess what that means about the prevalence of undiagnosed Lyme disease among the pets and pet owners in those counties of our state.

I'll bet that there are other hot spots for Lyme disease in states to the north of Texas, too, beneath the flight path of migratory birds. Maybe y'all might like to import some of our fire ants to cut down on the risk for contracting Lyme disease from Bb-infected ticks in your state, too.

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JamesNYC
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Wow, Mel, that is a lot of research, Thank YOU!

However, while cats can get lyme, I've heard that they can fight it off. I'll double check this with my vet later this week.

James

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minoucat
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Can't thank you enough, Melanie. I just posted this link on a dog health site.

BTW, the Schoen article link doesn't work, but this does: http://www.gcci.org/ciah/articles/lymedisease.html

--------------------
*********************

RECIDITE, PLEBES! Gero rem imperialem!
(Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business.)



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Pinelady
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I think it is high time the vet researchers and the human researchers come together on this one and get

to the bottom of the hows and whys differences in animals and treatments. How can they possibly post

an article as conclusive findings when ongoing antibiotic treatment is in place. When we know it

can alter the tests results. Great Job Miss Melanie. Thanks.

--------------------
Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +
DX:Neuroborreliosis

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ticked-offinNc
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Heh Melanie,

I started to read this post a couple of days ago.

I had been so overwhelmed taking care of my family, that I forgot about the dogs.

In the back of my fogged brain, I kept thinking my 8 year old Aussie had not been himself. He always came out with me to feed the cows, etc. He stopped doing that last spring, then had trouble getting up on the couch.

You saved my dogs life Melanie. I took him to the vet this morning. I usually cant drive that far. He started him on antibiotics, and goes back for blood work in 3 weeks, to evaluate for co-infections.

I never would have gotten this done without this very post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Fred is a fine and loyal boy, a beloved friend.And you saved him.

And I did beg the vet to be my doctor, but oh well.

Thank you Melanie.xoxoxox

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Melanie Reber
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Dearest Ticked off,

Now... THAT is the kind of news that makes my day!
Thank you so much for letting us know that your precious pooch is being taken care of.

Many good years of health and happiness to Fred and the rest of your clan!!!

My best,
Melanie

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