Canine Lyme Disease on the rise in Northeast Wisconsin

GREEN BAY – A warning for pet owners.

It’s that time of year when ticks are all around.

And veterinarians in the area say the risk of tick-related disease is on the rise.

There are warning signs and ways to keep your pet safe.

At the De Pere Dog Park, Dutchess the beagle, and Moose the black lab are out for an afternoon romp.

“He loves to play ball. And he loves the outdoors,” said Donna Conley, De Pere.

Conley says her dogs get their shots, and take tick medication. She says her vet is talking ticks too.

“They don’t say anything usually. This year they said something. They asked about how much they’re in the woods and everything,” said Conley.

Tick cases are on the rise in Northeast Wisconsin.  The Kaukauna Veterinary Clinic reports 73 cases of canine Lyme disease this year. That compares to 108 cases in all of 2013.

At Packerland Veterinary Center, pet doctors say they treat about two to three cases of Lyme disease each week. But they say this summer, there are two new diseases that have their attention.

“Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis are still in the tick-borne vector disease, so they cause a lot of the same clinical signs, fever, joint pain, not eating very well. Just kind of all-around not acting normal,” said Dr. Brian Broekman, Packerland Veterinary Center Veterinarian.

Dr. Brian Broekman says Lyme disease has an effective vaccine. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis do not.

Broekman says antibiotics help. There are injections or pills. Treatment can last three to four weeks.

“Tick disease basically takes about 24-48 hours for transmission. So the faster we kill these ticks, and get them off the dogs, decreases the risk of actual transmissions,” said Broekman.

Donna Conley says Duchess and Moose will continue to take their tick medication.

“You should be aware of the Lyme disease, and you don’t want nothing to happen to your pet. Because they’re part of your family,” said Conley.

Don’t forget to check yourself for ticks as well.

Wisconsin is one of the top seven states in the nation for reported Lyme disease cases in humans.

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