Vets: More tick-borne disease being seen in dogs

A March 2002 file photo of a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island.
–Victoria Arocho / AP

BOSTON (AP) — Veterinarians at a Boston animal care center say they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs brought in for treatment for tick-borne illnesses.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Angell Animal Medical Center treated 196 dogs for suspected or confirmed tick-borne illness this past fall and winter, a 125 percent increase from the 87 dogs treated during the same period the year before.

Experts tell The Boston Globe the unseasonably warm, snow-free winter may have been partly to blame for the rise in cases.

The conditions likely meant more people took their pets outdoors, and the milder temperatures and lack of snow cover meant ticks were likely more active.

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Veterinarians recommend using over-the-counter tick preventatives on dogs and walking them on hard surfaces.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com