New tick-borne disease has pet owners on edge

New tick-borne disease has pet owners on edge

Many pet owners know that flea and tick control is essential in order to maintain dog and cat wellness. However, keeping these parasites at bay might not just be benefiting animals – they may be keeping humans' health in good condition as well. Recently, researchers announced the discovery of a new tick-borne illness that's similar to Lyme disease. Because it hasn't been identified until now, a limited amount of information can be found on the illness. However, this isn't stopping experts from trying to get the word out about the bacteria.

The bacterium, which is being called Borrelia miyamotoi, is being transmitted through the black-legged tick, according to the Boston Globe. It's the fifth known disease that can be spread to mammals through this tick, which primarily makes a living off of deer in regions such as the Northeast.

"In the few case reports available for patients in the U.S., symptoms of B. miyamotoi infection have included fever, fatigue, body aches, joint pain and headache," Bobbi Pritt, M.D., director of clinical parasitology at the Mayo Clinic, told HealthDay News.

Imugen Inc., based in Massachusetts, is attempting to create a test that detects the disease and helps experts keep track of where it's spreading. For now, pet owners will have to be adamant about tick removal to maintain their health, as well as the health of their cats and dogs.

Do you know how to keep ticks at bay?
Pet parents can do their part to prevent parasite-borne illnesses by utilizing products such as the Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Collar for Puppies. This collar can keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes away for up to seven months for extended protection.

After spending time outdoors, it's still a good idea to check your pet for any parasites that might have hitched a ride. Similarly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that it's worth examining your own clothing to be sure that no ticks are attached to you when you go inside. A combination of these tips can ensure that you never have to cope with an infestation or a parasite-borne illness in your household. In the end, you'll sleep easier with this peace of mind. 

This content is provided by the flea treatment experts at Hartz. We offer flea sprays, shampoos and drops to keep your pets safe inside and outside your home.