NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A heads up for pet owners as an increased risk for disease from ticks has been reported for areas of Middle Tennessee.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has forecasted a higher-than-normal risk for Lyme disease in Davidson, Sumner, Williamson and Cheatham counties for the rest of May and June. Plus, it has forecasted a year-round threat for Ehrlichiosis across the state.

CAPC is a nonprofit that helps veterinarians and pet owners manage and protect pets from parasite infections. For the last 20 years, its mission has been to monitor and report any emerging threats to animals.

Pet owners can now track the risks of disease outbreaks by following the CAPC’s new 30-Day-Pet-Parasite Forecast Maps. The data is based on recent confirmed reports of four parasitic diseases across the country including Tennessee. The map tracks where Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Heartworm diseases are popping up.

So, what should pet owners do to protect their pets?

  • Talk to your veterinarian about testing for tick-borne diseases
  • Talk to your veterinarian about year-round tick prevention
  • Talk about Lyme disease vaccination options with veterinarian
  • Diligently check for ticks after spending time outdoors
  • Lyme and Ehrlichiosis diseases are treatable if found early
  • Stay aware of threat levels in local areas
Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) 30 Day Parasite Forecast Map

Some of these diseases can be found in humans as well. They are transmitted by certain species of ticks.

“Now, ticks can be carriers occasionally have a number of different bacterial infections. They have fancy names, some of which you’re may not be familiar with. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever continues to be the most common. It has a name, Rocky Mountain, because that’s where the disease first was described. But we’ve got a lot, a lot of that infection here in the here in Tennessee,” said Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt.

He continued, “Also, there’s a disease called Ehrlichiosis, which is very similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. And with the spread of ticks across the United States, we’re even seeing some incursions of Lyme disease into Tennessee, we haven’t had much of that. Hardly any, in the past, we’re beginning to see some cases now that are required here in our own state.”