Michael Lappin and Simon Tappin gave and excellent BSAVA lecture on Lyme disease in the US and UK. While we are not seeing the volume of cases in UK dogs that are seen in the US, the number of human cases in the UK are going up. We also know that UK dogs are being exposed to borrelia infected ticks. The bulk of transmission occurs 24-70 hours after attachment so isoxazoline tablets are a good option to aid prevention in dogs as well as pyrethroid repellents. Let's also remember to check our pets and ourselves after walking and to remove any ticks with a tick hook to help prevent transmission.
Another high profile case of Lyme disease is sure to raise public awareness in the UK https://lnkd.in/d-nFn8z. It shows how easy it is to miss with non specific clinical signs sometimes being mistaken for other illnesses. Although cases are rising in the UK, sensible precautions such as covering exposed skin in contact with grass and scrubland and checking yourself for ticks every 24 hours as well as your pet, will greatly reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Interest in Lyme disease continues to rise with press reports suggesting that UK cases are on the rise and could occur between people and through blood transfusions http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11924482/Lyme-disease-cases-have-quadrupled.html. While infection from a blood transfusion could occur there has never been a documented case, there is no evidence of person to person transmission and cases in the UK are still low. So, while it is important to check for ticks after walking and use preventative treatments in at risk pets, the overall risk should be kept in proportion.
More tick borne disease news has hit the press with the discovery of another Borrelia spp in the UK which can cause disease in people. https://lnkd.in/epk_aFU While this is concerning and warrants monitoring and further research, their have been very few human cases recorded in the UK to date and so needs to be kept in perspective. Daily surveillance and removal of ticks will greatly reduce the transmission off all Borrelia spp, as will the routine use of a tick preventative product in at risk dogs.