7th Annual Gulf-Atlantic Veterinary Conference
Numerous pathogens are able to be transmitted by ticks to both humans and animals. Prevalence of tick-borne disease varies geographically and is determined by climate, environment, and the presence of both domestic and feral reservoirs. Recently, heightened attention has been given to tick-borne diseases because these diseases sometimes have zoonotic potential. Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Borrelia, Babesia and Cytauxzoon are tick-transmitted diseases of veterinary significance. Testing for these diseases is not 100 percent sensitive or specific. Clinical judgement is often relied upon with diagnostic tests to be interpreted in light of the clinical signs exhibited, especially when patients have chronic persistent infections like Ehrlichia. During your veterinary career, veterinary practitioners will encounter vector-borne disease dilemmas (e.g. an asymptomatic dog presenting for a wellness examination that tests positive a tick-borne disease on a screening panel). These lectures will give an overview of the clinical signs and laboratory abnormalities caused by tick-borne diseases and will also address serological testing (i.e. is one test better than others to make a diagnosis of tick-borne disease). Other questions that will be attempted to be answered will include how we interpret the results, how to make a definitive diagnosis and what treatment/monitoring is needed.