Tick Talk Tuesdays Shine Light on Keeping Dogs Safe from Tick-Borne Disease in Summer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The AKC Canine Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases in all dogs, is using social media to share important information on keeping dogs safe from tick-borne disease this summer. “Tick Talk Tuesdays” (#TickTalkTuesdays) is a series of informative Tweets and Facebook posts shared each Tuesday in June designed to help dog owners understand the threats posed by these common insects found in all 50 states.

“Dog owners across the country must be vigilant this time of year when more and more four-legged friends are enjoying the warmer weather in backyards, parks, and the great outdoors,” said Susan Lilly, Canine Health Foundation CEO, adding, “Especially when you consider not only the danger to the dogs themselves, but also the danger to humans who can become infected if bitten by ticks brought into the home.”

Common diseases carried by ticks include some that are well-known as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and some lesser-known – but just as dangerous – like Hepatozoonosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis.

Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever-causing bacteria can be transmitted within just 3-6 hours of tick attachment.

The educational resources shared on Tick Talk Tuesdays examine important issues like what environments pose risks for tick attachment as well as details on diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention. Recent social media posts included a link to a video to learn more about deer ticks; an article on shifting migration patterns and disease risks; and online Q&A type resources.

Types of ticks to be covered this June range from hard ticks like the Brown Dog Tick and American Dog Tick to soft ticks like the Spinose Ear Tick which causes a traumatic and frightening long-term infestation deep in the ear canal of its hosts, first attaching as a larva and remaining through subsequent nymphal molts until finally leaving the host as an adult.

“Unfortunately, some people think that things like tick collars prevent disease transmission which just isn’t true, they help keep the number of ticks down in the dog’s immediate surroundings, but the dog is still susceptible to being bitten and infected. Basically, if a dog spends time outdoors, he or she needs to be checked daily for ticks, period, and owners need to keep up-to-date on common symptoms so they can understand what’s going on if they see behavioral changes in their dogs,” Lilly explained.

Dog owners interested in getting regular updates during Tick Talk Tuesdays can follow the Canine Health Foundation on Twitter at @CanineHealthFnd or Facebook at www.facebook.com/akccaninehealthfoundation.

More information on tick preventative care can be found on the Canine Health Foundation website at www.akcchf.org/ticktalk.

The Foundation’s educational efforts in June, on prevention and care for tick-based diseases follows its efforts to promote pet cancer awareness in May. The organization launched an online resource, www.akcchf.org/caninecancer, which offers podcasts, webinars, and other helpful information on different types of cancer and the search for cures.

The Foundation supports research that will improve the health and lives of all dogs, awarding grants to scientists and professionals seeking answers to the origins of canine illness, diagnosis of canine diseases, developments of effective treatments and the identification of disease prevention strategies.

Donations to support the Foundation’s canine health research can be made by calling 1-888-682-9696 or visiting the AKC Canine Health Foundation website www.akcchf.org/donate.

About the AKC Canine Health Foundation
The Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation is in its 20th year of leveraging the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation is dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases impacting all dogs while providing unbiased, professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.