April is once again Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month, and in preparation for it, Merial commissioned a nationwide survey to learn what dog owners know about Lyme disease.
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by the bite of infected deer ticks. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne disease among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also a serious health concern for dogs.
The survey found that U.S. dog owners appeared to understand certain risks and had a general awareness of the prevalence of borreliosis. Their understanding of preventive measures such as vaccination, however, was limited. More than 55 percent of respondents did not know whether they had vaccinated their dogs against borreliosis.
"Lyme-positive dogs continue to be reported across the country," said Dr. Andrew Eschner, senior technical services veterinarian for Merial. "Between traveling pets and migratory birds and animals, Lyme-positive dogs have been reported in all 50 states, making continued education and communication about this potentially debilitating disease incredibly important."
More than 1,000 pet owners nationwide completed the online survey in January. Among the other findings: 34 percent of respondents believed there was no effective vaccine against the disease, and 28 percent of those surveyed had their dogs vaccinated for borreliosis on an annual basis.
For more information on borreliosis in dogs, including client education materials, visit www.LymePrevention.com.