(WXYZ) — The nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council is warning pet owners in southeastern Michigan that they need to be cautious of ticks because of an expected higher than normal rate of parasitic illnesses this spring and summer.
In particular, CAPC is forecasting a higher-than-normal risk of Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis in Detroit, as well as in Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb, Oakland, and Livingston counties for May 2022.
CAPC currently forecasts for four parasitic diseases, Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Heartworm, by tracking rates around the country.
Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis are bacterial illnesses that can be transmitted to humans, dogs and other animals by certain species of ticks. The ticks that carry Lyme and Ehrlichiosis are often found in tall grass, thick brush, marshes and woods. Although found in Michigan year-round, ticks tend to be more active in warm weather, so pets are at greater risk in the spring and summer. Analysis of 30-Day Pet Parasite Forecast Maps for the state of Michigan indicate higher-than-usual activity in Detroit and throughout Wayne County, with nearby counties such as Washtenaw, Macomb, Oakland and Livingston showing infection risk levels that are higher than past years. Overall, the forecast maps indicates the Ixodes tick that transmits Lyme and Ehrlichiosis is moving into Michigan from the northwest with counties in the northwestern part of the state forecasted to be high risk, with the risk moving southward. CAPC expects this trend to continue throughout 2022.
CAPC says the rates have increased nationwide because of:
- Increased travel with pets
- Rehoming of pets due to natural disaster and the transportation of rescue pets
- Distribution and prevalence of vector (mosquito and tick) populations
- Shifting wildlife populations, and their incursion into newly developed and reclaimed areas
- Short- and long-term changes in climatic conditions
- Changes in habitat due to natural or human-induced processes
You can view their Pet Parasite Forecast Maps, as well as the daily Flea Forecast, at www.petdiseasealerts.org.