Reducing Risk from Tick-Borne Diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the numbers of human cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases (TBD) reported each year in the United States have been increasing steadily, currently totaling tens of thousands annually. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has identified Lyme disease and anaplasmosis as the most common tick-borne diseases for U.S. horses. In some regions, 50% of horses can show antibodies to the Lyme disease pathogen, but only about 10% show clinical symptoms. Over 70% of the ticks reported to feed on horses also feed on humans, transmitting the same pathogens causing TBD.
Ticks can also be an irritant to people and animals. In severe infestations, ticks can cause anemia in small and young animals, and in some instances, a single tick bite can cause paralysis.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and USDA have developed a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to reduce the transmission of tick-borne diseases through tick management practices. The recommendations below help people protect themselves and their horses from TBD:
Tick Management Practices
General: The following considerations apply to both people and
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