Health & Research

Protecting yourself and your Golden from fleas and ticks: An increasing concern for the traveling Golden?

Ann F. Hubbs DVM, PhD, DACVP

An increasing number of diseases of dogs and their owners are classified as vector-borne diseases. This means that an insect or arthropod (such as a tick) carries the disease to the dog and/or the owner. The prevalence of these diseases varies dramatically in different geographic regions. One of the best known of these diseases, Lyme disease, is a disease caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, but usually transmitted by Ixodes spp. ticks (CDC, online). The risk of Lyme disease is strikingly different in areas which may be separated by only a couple of hours driving or flying time. Importantly, some dog show locations, like the GRCA National Specialty, are within high risk areas. Preventing infection from Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is important when showing dogs or taking an outdoor vacation with your dog in areas where infection is common. Tick prevention for your dog and for yourself should be discussed with your dog’s veterinarian and your physician before the trip. Although Lyme disease distribution may vary in different years, a Map shows the approximate distribution of Lyme disease in humans in different parts of the United States is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lyme Disease website, at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/.