Vets say Lyme Disease is in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Vets say Lyme Disease is in the Panhandle

(Source: CBS) (Source: CBS)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
(Source: CBS) (Source: CBS)
Merten Pearson, DVM Merten Pearson, DVM

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - More pets in the area are being diagnosed with tick related diseases. 

Typically the Panhandle doesn't see cases of Lyme Disease, but one local veterinarian said he's already seen six cases.

Dr. Merten Pearson of Noah's Ark Pet Hospital is attributing the rise to people vacationing with their pets and not taking preventative measures to protect them.

He fears with summer quickly approaching cases may continue to increase, especially if the ticks return home with their hosts. 

Now doctors are worried that cases may spread to humans without them knowing it. 

"Sometimes we need to be thinking beyond the pet and think 'okay, if I pick up a dog with Lyme Disease maybe we need to suggest that the people see their physician and be tested also, to make sure they don't have Lyme Disease," Pearson said. 

Pearson believes it's important for pet owners to check themselves if their pet has been bitten, because they might be infected as well, and not even know it. 

"The ticks don't care whether they're biting the dog or they're biting the people," Pearson said. If they have bit an infected animal and picked up the disease and it dropped off and molted and then it gets on a person and bits them, that person gets Lyme Disease also."

He said pet and human doctors are now teaming up to warn patients about potential dangers pet owners might not think about.

"We need to think in a one health concept in that, the pets don't live in a bubble and the people don't live in a bubble," Pearson said. "We interact with each other and their [pet] health can affect mine, my health can affect theirs. We need to be working together and if we're seeing problems in one area we need to be talking to the other half. If I'm seeing ticks on your dog or I'm seeing tick born diseases in your dog, I need to be talking with you about visiting with your physician to get them involved."

Veterinarian urge people to continue to treat their pets and yards to ensure their safety and their furry friends.

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