Thursday, April 20, 2017

Napa and Sonoma County Ticks

. In Napa, there were 2 cases of lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis out of the 813 tested. Out of this number, Anaplasmosis has had 7 positive cases. This puts this figure a little higher, but the area seems to be rather safe. This may be due to the lack of testing of dog populations, low pet populations, the likelihood of the region to produce ticks (regionally, there is a lot of pesticide use) or the level of pet care.
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Anapasma phagocytophilium. The pathogen is transmitted to a human or pet through a tick bite. This is a disease carried by the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis the deer tick. This is the same tick that carries Lyme disease. This makes coinfections likely (and most likely what we are seeing here in Napa). Anaplasmosis infection in dogs may be hard to spot. It could be identified with loss of appetite, neck pain, neurological signs, reluctance to move, lameness or lethargy. In Anaplasma platys, another variety, they may be hard to find. This infection may have bruising on the gums and belly and include spontaneous nosebleeds.
To take care of pets choose the right product to use on pets. I would select Fipronil and I would go with one of the Frontline products.
To protect humans stay on trails when possible. Repellants with DEET should be used on the skin. Permethrin tick repellents should be used on clothing. When you are in an area that has had ticks, check yourself immediately. It is important to remove ticks from your body right away. Humans get mild or no symptoms. Nausea, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, fever and other flu like symptoms are Anaplasmosis symptoms. A rash, coughing or vomiting may occur in some people. If someone has a weakened immune system, it may affect them strongly. Luckily, Anaplasmosis is rarely fatal in humans.
Treat the outdoor environment for ticks. Be mindful of how these products affect the environment. Provide a landscape change to provide a buffer to protect pets from tick areas in yards is helpful. Getting rid of wild animals from the yard helps reduce ticks. Ticks should be properly removed from people and pets. This is to prevent the head from getting stuck. At our shelter, we use alcohol on ticks to kill them yet preserve them for identification and information. I got pictures of the local ticks.
Knowing about ticks is helpful. Although they cause only direct irritation from the bite, they can transmit dangerous disease with all kinds of symptoms. In addition, if killed they can leave the head in which can become infected. Tick control products help reduce numbers.
Some symptoms of tick based disease are lameness, paralysis, anemia and fever as well as other symptoms. People get bit by a tick to get the disease. These diseases are not spread from their pets directly. A dog with one of these ticks can spread disease to another human only if the tick bites the dog then transmits the pathogen to the human through another bite.
California has 50 different tick species known. Here is a complete list of Napa’s ticks:
·        Argassidae (soft bodied ticks)
o   lack a hard dorsal shield
o   top view has visible mouth parts
o   Calif. has 19 species
·        Ixodidae (hard bodied ticks)
o   Calif. has 31 species

Napa County has 10 tick species (2 soft bodied and 8 hard bodied).
Western Black-legged Tick (Ixodes pacificus)
·        Lyme disease spirochete
·        Equine Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Rickettsia

Pacific Coast Tick, (Dermacentor occidentalis)

Brown Dog Tick, (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) [most common in Calif. Kennels]
·        Rocky Mountain Fever
·        canine ehrlichiosis
·        canine babesiosis

American Dog Tick, (Dermacentor variabilis)
·        Rocky Mountain Spotted fever rickettsia
·        bacterium responsible for Tularemia
·        Saliva can cause tick paralysis.

I intern at the Sonoma County Animal Services. I have included tick pictures from last week. These were off the strays that came in. The tech soaks them in alcohol and saves them for us interns to look at. Yay. Here, now I am sharing the fun. Enjoy.

Anaplasmosis, Human Granulocytic. California Department of Public Health.
Napa County Mosquito Abatement District. Common Ticks.