Yale study shows pet owners at higher risk for tick exposure

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – You can’t help but pet the lovable pekingese, Dantie. He is one friendly little guy.

However, Maria Mintie, keeps a watchful eye on her four legged family member — a sharp lookout for ticks.

She says, “He would bring them in, we would clean him up. Go through him very thoroughly and find them and then about an hour later we would have to restart again.
Sometimes we would find them either crawling on the floor, on the couch or sometimes even on our legs.”

A Yale School of Public Health study, led by epidemiologist James Meek, confirms owners with outdoor/indoor animals, are at a higher risk of tick exposure.

“It’s approximately one point five greater risk of finding ticks on you or attached to you if you are a pet owner than non-pet owner.” he says.

This then increases the potential threat of tick-borne diseases. “The more ticks you encounter the more chances you have for the tick that happens to be infected with the bacteria that transmits Lyme Disease,” Meek explained.

Related Content: How to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer

Not certain if Dantie was the carrier — Maria is recovering from Lyme Disease.

“They couldn’t really say for sure,” Maria says, “but I did experience Lyme Disease and it’s a very painful, exhausting feeling to go through.”

The Minties had their property organically treated. “After that, it seemed to have worked. We don’t see any more ticks on him when he is on the premises,” Maria explained.

Researchers also confirmed that pesticides that kill ticks are indeed effective.

Related Content: What to do and not do when removing ticks

Meek says, “The number of ticks found on treated properties was much lower than found on untreated properties.”

Although there is no direct link to Lyme Disease, he goes onto say, “It appears that treating your property will reduce the number of ticks on it, but may not reduce your active risk of Lyme Disease.”

The study was funded by the CDC.

The results could lead the federal health agency to add ‘checking pets for ticks,’ to prevent Lyme Disease.

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