Welcome to the all-new Vetlearn

  • What’s new on Vetlearn?
  • The latest issues of Compendium and
    Veterinary Technician
  • New CE articles for veterinarians and technicians
  • Expert advice on practice management
  • Care guides on more than 400 subjects
    to give to your clients
  • And more!

To access Vetlearn, you must first sign in or register.

registernow

Become a Member

Reference Desk September 2012

CAPC Predicts Rise in Lyme Disease for Fall

    CAPC Parasite Forecasts Support Veterinarians’ Year-Round Parasite Control Recommendations; Drive Clinic Visits

    BEL AIR, Md. (Sept. 27, 2012)—With the new Parasite Forecasts from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), veterinarians have another tool they can use to educate pet owners about the importance of year-round parasite control. The nonprofit CAPC issued its first-ever forecast in the spring and plans to release a Fall Forecast in early October, which will predict how prevalent ticks and Lyme disease will be in the coming months.

    The CAPC 2012 Fall Lyme Disease Forecast calls for increased risk in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, the upper Midwest, the Southeastern United States and all along the West Coast. The disease incidence is steadily spreading southward, even into some areas traditionally free or with low incidence of Lyme disease, such as the Midwest and parts of the Southeast. The Northeast continues as the most Lyme-endemic region of the country.

    “When the weather cools, parasites are not usually among pet owners’ top concerns; but, they should be. You can never let your guard down when it comes to parasites, especially when you consider, for example, that the adult lxodes scapularis ticks that transmit Lyme disease are most active from October through March in many areas,” said Christopher Carpenter, DVM, MBA, executive director of the CAPC. “Our Fall Forecast supports what veterinarians already overwhelmingly recommend, which is continuous prevention.”

    Leading parasitologists with the CAPC work with a team of Clemson University statisticians to develop the Parasite Forecasts. Clemson’s Dr. Robert Lund, the team leader, has been building predictive models for the past 20 years and was instrumental in developing the current weather forecasting models used to assess U.S. hurricanes.

    The ever-evolving mathematical model for the CAPC Parasite Forecasts combines historical data, such as parasitic-disease test results from veterinary clinics across the country and changing variables that include weather conditions, vegetation indices, wildlife populations, human population density and human disease prevalence. To improve accuracy, the CAPC-Clemson team regularly evaluates all of the predictive model’s variables and adds, subtracts or more-heavily weighs some in a given year.

    The CAPC Parasite Forecasts are among a number of initiatives from the nonprofit that work to raise awareness of parasite risks and remind pet owners that regular veterinary exams are key to keeping their pets and families safe. Complementing the CAPC’s consumer education and clinic marketing efforts are regularly updated prevalence maps on both its consumer and veterinarian-focused websites (www.PetsAndParasites.org and www.CAPCVet.org), which track the incidence of parasite-borne diseases in dogs and cats nationwide.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cross referenced information from these maps with national surveillance data on the occurrence of human Lyme disease, and found that people who live in areas with a higher-than-average number of dogs with Lyme are at greater risk of contracting the infection. So, dogs serve as sentinels for tick-borne disease in humans.

    To prevent infections, the CAPC continues to recommend that pet owners administer parasite-control medication to dogs and cats year-round – which often requires a monthly application – and schedule annual veterinarian checkups so that pets may be tested and treated for any external or internal parasites that doctors find.

    Each year, millions of pets are infected by parasitic diseases. Even so, roughly half of the more than 78 million pet dogs in the United States are unprotected against parasites, which can be prevented with year-round, easy-to-administer medication.

    “Parasite prevention, through pet-owner outreach and education, is the best way to continue to drive hospital visits because parasites are dynamic and many pet owners are non-compliant,” said Carpenter.

    About the CAPC

    Founded in 2002, the nonprofit CAPC (www.CAPCVet.org) is an independent council of veterinarians, veterinary parasitologists and other animal health care professionals established to foster animal and human health, while preserving the human-animal bond, through recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of parasitic infections. The CAPC brings together broad expertise in parasitology, internal medicine, public health, veterinary law, private practice and association leadership.

    didyouknow

    Did you know... Only 12% of pet owners worry about the cost of their pet's care. In contrast, 25% say their biggest worry is that their pet will get sick. Read More

    These Care Guides are written to help your clients understand common conditions. They are formatted to print and give to your clients for their information.

    Stay on top of all our latest content — sign up for the Vetlearn newsletters.
    • More
    Subscribe