We all hear about common diseases from ticks, mosquitos, or heartworms that could affect our pets, but it’s hard to know just how real the risk is in our own neighborhood or town. Clients often ask if parasite related illnesses like Lyme disease, for example, are actually present in Knoxville, Maryville and Alcoa, and if it really is necessary to treat their pets with prevention products.
The answer is a resounding yes, and there’s a handy resource you can use to verify this and assess the risk of diseases to the dogs and cats in your area. The “Diseases Near You” map by IDEXX Reference Laboratories allows you to view the number of reported positive cases of common diseases by your zip code.
For dogs, the map indicates reported cases of 4 parasite-transmitted diseases:
- Lyme disease: Tick-borne bacteria that can affect different organs and systems within the body.
- Heartworm: Severe and potentially fatal disease spread by mosquitoes causing damage to blood vessels, heart and lungs.
- Ehrlichiosis: Tick-borne bacteria that can lead to lethargy, illness and in extreme cases, death.
- Anaplasmosis: Tick-borne bacteria that can lead to serious symptoms and poses a significant risk to your dog’s health.
For cats, the map shows the number of reported cases of 3 major infectious diseases:
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV): a highly contagious and potentially fatal retroviral infection that weakens a cat’s immune system, making the cat susceptible to illness and secondary infection.
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV): a highly contagious and potentially fatal retroviral infection that weakens a cat’s immune system.
- Heartworm: spread by mosquitoes, damaging to blood vessels, heart, lungs, potentially fatal.
The map is a good starting point, considering that many pets go untested so the actual number of animals carrying these diseases is likely many times higher than what’s indicated. Try out the maps, find out what may be lurking in your own neighborhood, and use the links for each disease to learn more.
According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the best way to avoid tick, flea, and heartworm diseases is to treat your pets year-round with prevention products. Many pet owners have the misperception that such treatments are only required during spring, summer, and fall. While it’s true that the tick population soars in the warmer months, our relatively mild East Tennessee winters aren’t cold or long enough to kill off all infestations. Determining when to start and stop tick prevention treatments based on the seasons is too risky when it comes to ensuring the health of your pets.
PetWellClinic® offers a variety of affordable, high quality chewable and topical tick prevention products, such as Activyl, Bravecto, Parastar, Simparica, and Revolution, as well as several heartworm and flea prevention products. We can help you determine which one is best for your pet.
By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for preventative products, vaccinations, wellness exams, and treatment of minor or chronic conditions. Think of us as a “minute clinic” for your pet—no appointment necessary, with quick in and out service including evening and weekend hours.
PetWellClinic® has three locations: In Farragut at 10549 Kingston Pike, Knoxville; In West Hills at 7329 Kingston Pike, Knoxville; and in Alcoa at 228 S. Calderwood Street. Learn more about how PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at www.petwellclinic.com.