What Is the Lyme Disease

Threat in Your Area?

Since Lyme disease was discovered in humans in 1975 and in dogs in 1984, the disease in both humans and dogs has been spreading geographically. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne zoonosis in the northern temperate zone, up to 23,000 cases being recorded annually in the United States (US)1. Most of these cases occur in the north-eastern and north-central states, many of which border Canada.

Human data on Lyme disease applies to dogs

There is no system that keeps track of the number of dogs in each province that get Lyme disease every year. However, beginning in 2010, Lyme disease became nationally reportable to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Since ticks don't seem to care if they land on humans or dogs, the data on geographic spread of human Lyme disease seems to apply to dogs, as well. You can view the geographic distribution of endemic human Lyme disease areas in Canada (past, present and future), at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca.

Most likely greater threat in dogs than humans

Three-quarters of human cases are contracted during activities around the home. 3 Just imagine how much greater the threat is to your dog that typically spends much more time outside in the backyard than you do.

Check the map for a quick overview

Do you live in a human Lyme disease endemic, expansion or isolated area? Where you live can help you determine the level of risk for your dog.

map
Geographic area Disease threat Level of risk Your action
Endemic Infected tick population well established, putting most dogs at constant risk Nearly 75 percent of unvaccinated dogs in this area will eventually test positive for infection with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, and each year some will develop Lyme disease 3 Talk to your veterinarian about a comprehensive tick-borne disease prevention program, including Lyme disease vaccination
Expansion Infected ticks increasing, putting dogs at risk based on lifestyle and geography Increasing trends in the number of human cases reported Talk to your veterinarian about your dogs risk level and if you need a comprehensive tick-borne disease prevention program, including Lyme disease vaccination
Isolated Infected ticks have been introduced to the area (likely by migratory birds) but populations are not established Talk to your veterinarian about a comprehensive tick-borne disease prevention program, including Lyme disease vaccination Ask your veterinarian about human and canine cases in your area. If you plan to travel with your dog to endemic or expansion areas, please talk to your vet prior to your trip.
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Lyme disease
has been
found in all 10
Canadian
provinces
The threat of Lyme disease is probably greater in dogs than in humans
Dogs will often show no signs of Lyme disease
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