Here’s What You Need To Know About The Explosive Rise Of Heartworm And Lyme Disease This Summer

What to Look For

Mosquitoes

  • Live in damp, warm areas
  • Carry heartworm parasite
  • Transmit parasite to host animal
  • Most active in the spring and summer

Ticks

  • Live in grassy, wooded areas
  • Carry Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Transmit Lyme disease to pets and humans
  • Most active in the spring and summer

Why is it spreading?

Warm summers have allowed mosquitoes in the U.S. to expand their territory, bringing the heartworm disease to new areas. With another warm and damp summer predicted for 2018, the pattern is expected to continue.

According to Veterinary News, the diaspora of heartworm infected dogs from hurricane affected regions in 2017 helped spread the disease even further. Though not spreading it to other dogs, they have spread it to regional mosquito colonies, which carry the disease elsewhere.

Source: Unsplash/Caleb Carl All pet owners should have their animals checked for heartworm in the summer.

Source: Unsplash/Caleb Carl
All pet owners should have their animals checked for heartworm in the summer.

Lyme disease closely follows the migratory patterns of white-tailed deer and birds, the most common carriers of the ticks that transmit the disease. The ticks are most active, and pose the greatest risk of infection, in the spring and summer as they grow from nymphs to adults.

Click the button below to learn what you can do to prevent these diseases!

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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