Press release: Elanco
Amidst a surge of pet adoptions, a new survey released by Elanco finds many pets are insufficiently protected against common diseases like Lyme and leptospirosis. Once largely isolated to wooded regions, the threat of Lyme and lepto has escalated in urban and suburban areas due to expanding tick populations across the country.
Survey respondents admitted to taking their pet’s health and wellbeing seriously. At the same time only 61 percent said their dogs are vaccinated for Lyme and less than half (47%) are vaccinated against lepto. What’s more, 33 percent and 69 percent, respectively, are unsure about the prevalence of Lyme or lepto in their area, highlighting the urgent need for broader awareness of risk exposure and proper prevention.
A report from the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) found that more than 23 million American households – or about one in five – welcomed a pet into their home during the pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions lift around the country, owners and pets who spend more time outdoors, traveling and socializing with other pets will find themselves vulnerable to Lyme and lepto.
Lyme disease in dogs can cause a number of serious symptoms, including joint swelling, depression and loss of appetite. Dogs that are at risk for Lyme disease are also at risk for leptospirosis – a serious and potentially fatal infection that carries symptoms such as vomiting, anorexia and lethargy. Dogs are at risk when they lap water out of a puddle or are exposed to contaminated mud and soil that infected animals have urinated in.
“Whether you live in rural areas, the suburbs or in the city, your dog could be exposed to diseases simply by engaging in their regular daily activities,” said Dr. Casey Locklear, Elanco’s U.S. medical lead for infectious disease prevention. “At Elanco, we believe vaccinated pets are the happiest pets. Pets and parents share a unique and loving bond and our goal is to make sure pets live longer, healthier lives.”
Vaccines are the best preventative measure for protecting pets against infections and the long-term, negative impacts of disease. Elanco offers innovative products to advance the health of animals, including a robust portfolio of pure, safe and effective vaccines.
The nationwide survey, conducted by Savanta, January 2022, consisted of 3,002 American adult respondents.
Additional highlights include:
- 79 percent say our pet’s well-being is high on our to-do list
- 85 percent agree that vaccinations for dogs are valuable
- 52 percent let our pets sleep in the bed
- 21 percent kiss our pets on the lips
- 36 percent share food with our pets
- 77 percent describe our pets as “loving”
- 83 percent consider their pet their “ride or die”
These new findings support a study published by Elanco in January 2022 that analyzed variability in non-core vaccination rates of over 3.5 million pets across the United States. That report found wide variation in lifestyle vaccination rates, highlighting a need for veterinary practices to address gaps in patient protection.
Pet owners should seek out information about pet disease and lifestyle vaccines from reputable and trusted veterinarians. The full Wag Stats survey results and more information about Lyme and lepto can be found here.