Lyme Disease Threat Extremely High in 2013by Christopher Carpenter DVM, MBA - Executive Director of the Companion Animal Parasite Council
The threat of Lyme disease will be especially high this year, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s (CAPC) annual forecast. The forecasts are developed in partnership with Clemson University statisticians also responsible for developing the model for severe weather forecasting. Specifically, CAPC points to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, the upper Midwest and isolated areas of the Pacific Northwest as being areas for increased monitoring and awareness.
In addition to the forecast, CAPC provides parasite prevalence maps available by clicking here. As a veterinarian, you can use the CAPC Prevalence Maps to monitor the activity level for the disease in any U.S. state and county. To make it even easier to stay abreast of the most up-to-date information, CAPC also offers Automatic Email Updates that can be customized down to the state and even county.
The maps work well as an educational tool for your clients who want to know more about why they should protect their dogs against parasites year-round. The localized forecasting is also valuable for clients who travel with their dogs and want to protect them from potential infestations in new areas.
Because ticks can be carriers of many diseases, including Lyme disease, it is essential that veterinarians remind their clients of the importance of regular visits and parasite prevention. To prevent any type of infection or infestation, CAPC recommends year-round parasite control medication for dogs and cats, which often requires a monthly application. In addition, CAPC’s guidelines recommend regular examinations — at least annually — by a veterinarian. CAPC Guidelines for Lyme Disease can be found here.
CAPC bases its parasite forecasts on several factors, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, elevation, forest cover, population density, reported Lyme disease cases and deer strikes with cars. The forecast is also the collective expert opinion of respected parasitologists who engage in ongoing research and data interpretation to better understand and monitor disease transmission and changing life cycles. Click Here to learn more about the forecasts.