Dogs Indicate Disease Presence

Dogs Indicate Disease Presence

While human statistics on Lyme in the Hoosier State are limited, the independent Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) provides very up-to-date numbers for canines diagnosed with Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.

CAPC reported that, in 2017, out of an average of 109,732 dogs that were tested in Indiana:CAPC Lyme disease map

  • 3,680 (equivalent to 1 in 30 dogs) tested positive for Lyme disease
  • 2,051 (equivalent to 1 in 54 dogs) tested positive for Ehrlichiosis, and
  • 428 (equivalent to 1 in 257 dogs) tested positive for Anaplasmosis

These statistics for in-state dogs are important, because the chances that the tested canines and their human owners are being exposed to the same disease-causing tick populations are very high.

So, the difference between the numbers of confirmed human and canine Lyme cases could point to an under-diagnosed public health issue, even considering that a dog is exposed to ticks more often than its owner.

In light of these factors, dogs represent a reliable indicator of a more pronounced presence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in Indiana than the current raw, incomplete numbers indicate.

Map Source: CAPC