ticks-101

Tick Geography 101

Where do ticks live? Each species that affects our furkids has a different geographic distribution. The main ticks that affect dogs and cats include the American Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Brown Dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and the Deer tick or Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). These ticks are found throughout the United States, except Alaska.

Deer tick or Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis):

The tick that’s most famous is the Deer tick due to its ability to transmit Lyme disease. It can also transmit Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. This tick predominates along the eastern coast. It moves westward, extending to the eastern half of the Midwest in the southern region and around the Great Lakes in the norther region. The adult host is the Whitetail deer, but it can bite people and dogs.

American Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

The American dog tick has a wide distribution east of the Rocky Mountains. It also is present in western California. This tick can transmit diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia. It can also cause tick paralysis. Adults prefer dogs, but can bite people too.

Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum)

The lone star tick is mostly east like the Deer Tick with distributions from southern Maine from New York down south and through the eastern halves of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and encompassing most of Iowa and Illinois. This tick can carry the agents of Erhlichosis, Cytauxzoonosis in cats, and tularemia. You can tell the females apart by the white spot on her back. This tick affects both dogs and cats as well as people.

Brown Dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

This tick has the widest distribution encompassing all continental 48 states and Hawaii. Dogs are the primary host but the tick can bite people and other animals. This tick can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever (in southwestern United States), Ehrlichiosis, Canine babesiosis, Hepatozoonosis, and Anaplasmosis.

Tick control is so important. They have a wide distribution and can cause diseases in both us and our furkids.

To learn more about tick distributions go to www.CDC.gov/text/geographic_distribution.html and www.capcvet.org

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