Incoming data from leaders in veterinary diagnostic laboratory testing shows that tick-borne diseases in Ventura County continues to rise in 2017. California is home to a variety of tick species including the Brown Dog Tick, American Dog Tick, Pacific Coast Tick, and Western Black Legged Tick. These ticks are known to harbor and infect both pets and people with bacteria that causes serious disease such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Erlichiosis, and Tularemia.
Data for 2017 strongly suggests a continued trend toward an increase in tick-borne disease prevalence for Ventura County. So far, there are 8 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Ventura County compared to last year’s annual total of 10; there are 10 confirmed cases of Anaplasmosis in Ventura County compared to last year’s annual total of 7; and, finally, there are 30 confirmed cases of Ehrlichiosis in Ventura County compared to last year’s annual total of 34. From 2014 to 2016, positive reported cases of these three diseases has increased by almost 20%. While this data is very significant, it is estimated that it only represents less than 30% of the tick-borne disease activity in our region.
Tick-borne diseases can manifest very differently in dogs or cats compared to humans and, depending upon the disease, can sometimes take weeks to months to produce symptoms which may include lameness, general weakness, persistent infections, bleeding disorders, or kidney damage. We recommend giving your pet a monthly medication to prevent ticks from attaching and transmitting disease. Please contact us for more information about parasite prevention. Click here to see prevalence maps for tick-borne diseases in various geographical locations including Ventura County.