How can you protect dogs, cats and horses from ticks? Watch these free webinars

More than 400,000 Americans get Lyme disease through a tick bite each year, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no similarly reliable estimates of the number of pets infected each year.

But ticks can transmit disease to dogs, cats, and horses.

“Lyme disease and anaplasmosis can affect dogs and horses just like humans do,” said Erica Macinger, assistant professor of veterinary entomology at the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

“Sometimes it can be hard to tell what’s going on, but they may look tired, sore, lose appetite or have a fever.”

To educate the public about tick dangers and tick bite prevention in companion animals, the Penn State Extension will offer three webinars in May — Lyme Disease Awareness Month — at no cost to participants.

The series will focus on ticks and tick control in working and hunting dogs, pets, and horses, and cover steps that pet and horse owners should take to reduce the risk of tick bites.

Machtinger noted that the focus on tick and Lyme disease education from the perspective of human-animal interaction makes the webinar series unique. Usually, prevention focuses on humans or animals but not on how the two interact. The series aims to keep both animals and humans safe.

“People who spend time around dogs and horses may think about how to control ticks and prevent them from exposing themselves when they are outdoors,” she said. “And then they might think about it for their animals. But often they don’t think about how activities they do with their animals, like riding a trail with a horse or just having a dog in the house, might increase their risk of being bitten by a tick.”

“Preventing Ticks on Working, Hunting and Farm Dogs,” the first webinar in the series, will run from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday. This event is designed for owners of working, hunting or farm dogs.

The webinar will cover the basic ticks found in working, hunting and farm dogs, and the veterinary concerns associated with these ticks; Treatment Options Available How to prevent ticks on working, hunting and farm dogs; And how to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick if you live with this type of dog.

More information about the first webinar is available at the Penn State Extension website.

“Horses and Ticks Don’t Mix – Protecting Your Horses From Tick Bites,” the second webinar, will take place from noon to 1 pm on May 17. Ticks can transmit pathogens to horses that cause Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and other diseases. Organizers said that since there are no vaccines to protect horses from pathogens, prevention of tick bites is critical.

Aimed at horse owners, potential horse owners and horse farm owners, the session will cover how to identify important ticks, the multiple ways to approach tick control on and off the horse, and how to reduce the risks of tick bites and pathogen transmission.

More information about the second webinar is available at the Penn State Extension website.

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“Preventing Ticks on Companion Animals,” the third webinar, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on May 26. Trainers will discuss how to protect pets from tick bites and prevent them from bringing ticks into the home. The event is designed for dog and cat owners in the Northeastern United States.

The session will cover the basic ticks found on pets and the veterinary concerns associated with these ticks, treatment options available for ticks on pets and how to prevent ticks on pets, how to reduce ticks around your home and reduce the risk of a tick bite. If you live with a pet.

More information about the third webinar is available at the Penn State Extension website.

All three events are free, but registration is required by noon on each webinar date to receive the link to access the live webinar. Registrants will also get access to the webinar recording.

Contact Marcus Schneck at [email protected].

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