Today's Veterinary Practice

MAR-APR 2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LONE STAR TICKS. Thomas N. Mather , PhD, Professor and Director, University of Rhode Island Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its Tick Resource Center, offers five unique facts about the lone star tick. In a study testing more than 22,500 lone star tick specimens, there was no measurable prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi. 4 This may be partly because this tick species rarely attaches to white-footed mice, 5 the primary reservoir of B. burgdorferi, but favors white-tailed deer, an animal rarely infectious for the Lyme disease germ. It could also be related to potentially borreliacidal properties of lone star tick saliva. The larvae are so small they can crawl right through the fabric of socks! Wearing permethrin-treated clothing can help prevent bites. Look out for tiny, poppy seed-sized engorged larvae especially on pet's feet, or wandering loose in homes. Make a plan to handle tick-borne diseases in your clinic – Don't be caught surprised! If treatment fails initially, consider the possibility of a co-infection with several pathogens. Prevention is key. LONE STAR TIPS: LONE STAR TICKS ARE FAST. 1 LONE STAR TICKS DO NOT TRANSMIT LYME DISEASE. 4 LONE STAR TICKS ARE EXPANDING THEIR RANGE. 3 LONE STAR TICKS ARE COMMONLY MISIDENTIFIED. LONE STAR TICK LARVAE ARE TINY. 5 2 Steps to confirm a lone star tick: Narrow your vision to just the scutum (or shield) Check for the distinctive white spot (or "lone star") which identifies the adult female lone star tick The adult male lacks the white spot but typically has spots or streaks of white around the outer edge of the body Lone star ticks move very quickly and will run aggressively toward a host. Compared to other ticks, they scramble quickly through fur or up a pant leg. Tick checks are very important, even if the pet has only been outside briefly. Information gathered from the TickSpotters program indicates that lone star ticks are spreading into the Upper Midwest. Dr. Mather suggests that the spread of this tick species is related to the increased abundance and suburbanization of white-tailed deer, a key host. Geographical Range of the Lone Star Tick Population 3 Scutum Idiosoma (body) Festoons Capitulum (head) 2010 2012 Male Female References 1. Breitschwerdt EB, Hegarty BC, Maggi RG, et al. Rickettsia rickettsii transmission by a lone star tick, North Carolina. Emerg Infect Diseases. 2011;17(5):873-875. doi:10.3201/ eid1705.101530. 2. Commins SP, Satinover SM, Hosen J, Mozena J, et al. Delayed anaphylaxis, angioedema, or urticaria after consumption of red meat in patients with IgE antibodies specific for galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123(2):426–433. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.10.052 3. Data from CDC website 4. Stromdahl EY, Nadolny RM, Gibbons JA, Auckland LD, et al. Borrelia burgdorferi not confirmed in human-biting Amblyomma americanum ticks from the Southeastern United States. J of Clin Microbiol. 2015;53(5):1697-1704. doi:10.1128/jcm.03454-14. 5. Mather TN, Mather ME. Intrinsic competence of three Ixodid ticks (Acari) as vectors of the Lyme disease spirochete. J Med Entomol. 1990;27(4):646-650. doi:10.1093/jmedent/27.4.646.

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