Overland Park, Kansas-Fort Dodge Animal Health surveyed 1,200 veterinary clinics that regularly test for Lyme disease in dogs, and found that 41 percent tested positive for canine Lyme.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reports that the number of new cases of Lyme disease in humans and animals in the United States has doubled in the last 10 years. The tick-borne bacterial disease was first diagnosed in humans in Lyme, Conn., in 1975 and confirmed in dogs in 1984.
Dogs are reportedly 50 percent more susceptible to the disease than humans.
"The veterinary community is very concerned with the growing numberof Lyme disease cases in dogs in recent years," says Dr. Michael LaRosh,veterinarian with Fort Dodge Animal Health. "This new information,coupled with earlier national industry data, paints an alarming pictureof the recent continued increase of Lyme disease in dogs.
"The first line of protection is having the dog tested and vaccinatedfor Lyme disease," he says.
If the disease, which shows symptoms of lameness, lethargy, vomitingand depression, is left untreated, it can lead to arthritis, kidney failure,heart damage, even death.