Animals are in danger of contracting tick-borne diseases and indirectly exposing humans by bringing infected ticks into the home. Tick borne diseases in animals can cause symptoms ranging from lethargy and lameness, to paralysis and death. Tick borne diseases shared by dogs and humans are Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis.
Regular tick checks for dogs and cats are important. Be sure to examine between the animals toes, behind its ears, under the armpits and around the tail and head. Use a brush to facilitate checks. You can also check with your veterinarian for tick control products.
A great resource for information about tick-borne disease in animals is http://www.dogsandticks.com/, which explains why dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely to encounter disease carrying ticks than humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addresses Lyme disease in animals at http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/lyme.html.
Where tick-borne diseases are found (from IDEXX, a veterinarian testing laboratory). Readers should note that in states where Lyme disease is downplayed by health authorities or not generally recognized, veterinarians tend to not order Lyme disease tests. Hence, results are directly impacted by the low numbers of Lyme disease tests ordered.
Florida-Positive Dog Cases (one lab: cases-2001-2009)
→ Lyme 862
→ Echlichia 1141
→ Anaplasma (470)
→ Heart Worm (3475)