Perceptions of veterinary clinics and pest control companies regarding tick-related problems in dogs residing in Texas cities.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent and source of tick-related problems encountered by veterinary clinics and pest control company (PCC) clientele experiencing residential tick infestations in urban/suburban environments and to determine which tick-related diseases in dogs were diagnosed and treated at veterinary clinics. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SAMPLE POPULATION: Veterinary clinics and PCC in Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin/San Antonio, Tex. PROCEDURE: Surveys were made into professionally printed booklets and mailed to participants. RESULTS: Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin/San Antonio clinics indicated that tick-related problems comprised 21 and 15%, respectively, of their canine-based business. The most frequently observed species was the brown dog tick. Tick infestations were most common during May through August. Immature tick populations were seen by the greatest number of clinics in May and June, and engorged female ticks were encountered most often in June and July. Ticks were most commonly found around homes and adjacent yards or lots. Greenbelts were perceived by all 4 study groups to be the principal place in the community where ticks were acquired by clients' dogs. Canine ehrlichiosis was the most common tick-related disease diagnosed and treated at clinics, followed by anemia caused by tick infestation. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Identification of ticks is important, because different tick species transmit different disease agents and different ecologic factors may be associated with exposure and subsequent treatment. Knowledge of temporal activity patterns of ticks, where they are acquired and where populations become established, combined with improved cooperative efforts between veterinary clinics and PCC, would aid in more effective control and management of ticks.
author list (cited authors)
Dykstra, E. A., Slater, M. R., Teel, P. D., & Russell, L. H.
complete list of authors
Dykstra, EA||Slater, MR||Teel, PD||Russell, LH