In spite of an increase in pet adoptions, a recent analysis by Elanco reveals many animals lack adequate protection against common illnesses including leptospirosis and Lyme disease.
The threat of Lyme and lepto, which were once primarily isolated to areas with forests, has increased in urban and suburban areas as a result of the growing tick population across the nation, says Elanco, which produces pharmaceutical products for pets and livestock.
Less than half (47%) of respondents indicated their dogs have received a lepto vaccine, while just 61% of respondents said their dogs have received a Lyme vaccination. Furthermore, 33 percent and 69 percent of respondents, respectively, don’t know whether Lyme disease or leptospirosis is common in their neighborhood, underscoring the critical need for increased public understanding of risk exposure and effective prevention.
Nonetheless, survey participants acknowledged they were serious about the health and wellbeing of their pets.
Dogs increasingly susceptible to Lyme, lepto
Approximately 1 in 5 American homes, or more than 23 million, welcomed a pet into their home during the pandemic, according to a report from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). Owners and pets who spend more time outside, travel, and interact with other pets will be more susceptible to Lyme and lepto as COVID-19 limitations are lifted across the nation.
Lyme disease in dogs manifests through symptoms such as depression, appetite loss, and joint swelling. Dogs susceptible to Lyme disease are also susceptible to leptospirosis, a dangerous and potentially deadly infection that causes vomiting, anorexia, and lethargy, says Elanco.
Dogs are at risk when they drink from puddles or come into contact with dirt and soil that have been contaminated by the urination of infected animals.
“Whether you live in rural areas, the suburbs or in the city, your dog could be exposed to diseases simply by engaging in their regular daily activities,” Elanco’s US Medical Lead for Infectious Disease Prevention Dr. Casey Locklear said.
“At Elanco, we believe vaccinated pets are the happiest pets. Pets and parents share a unique and loving bond and our goal is to make sure pets live longer, healthier lives.”
According to Elanco’s press release, the best prophylactic method for preventing pets from these infections and the damaging long-term effects of the disease is vaccination. Elanco provides cutting-edge solutions to improve animal health, such as a sizable selection of pure, secure, and efficient vaccines.
Elanco is a member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). The survey that consisted of 3,002 American adults, was conducted by Savantra in January 2022.