July 9, 2019 Photos by: Aleksey Boyko/Shutterstock
As if climate change wasn’t bad enough as it is, the abrupt changes in weather patterns seem to be responsible for the rise of canine diseases, as well.
Scientists have been warning about the rapid climate changes and their devastating effects, many of which we are feeling right this moment. Floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat waves- most of us will readily connect these unusual and devastating weather changes to the global warming phenomenon, but how about the rise in insect-transmitted dog diseases? The latest research points out the sudden rise of potentially deadly dog diseases that are transmitted by insects, in areas where they weren’t commonly seen before.
Veterinary epidemiologists and biologists have been tracking canine diseases in the United States and report worrying trends. Owing to drastic temperature changes, infestation intensities and locations are changing and our furry best friends are feeling the consequences. In the United States, Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been rapidly spreading to California and Texas. The tick-borne disease that causes fever, joint pain and vomiting has taken local pet owners by surprise, as it hasn’t been reported in those areas before. Lyme disease, another dangerous illness carried by ticks, has now been tracked in dogs as far as Canada- even though it was only common in some northeast and north-central parts of the States a few years back.
Similarly, heartworm disease is spreading at an unprecedented rate. The potentially fatal condition that can go without symptoms for years has been mostly prevalent in the South and Southeast, but the mosquitoes that transmit it are now thriving all over the US. The parasitic larvae make a home in your pet’s heart, and if the infestation is left untreated, they could end up killing your dog.
Luckily, there are ways to protect your pets from most- if not all- insect-borne diseases. While climate change makes it harder for pet parents to discern which diseases are now local to their areas, a good vet will know what to look out for, regardless of the changes in the area. Topical treatments, medications, and other forms of preventatives are readily available, so talk to your vet about the best ways to protect your pet from pesky pests.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she’s not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.