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Preventing CVBDs

DR. HOSTETLER: What preventive measures would you recommend veterinarians take for themselves as well as for their patients?

DR. MATHER: Anything you can apply to the dog topically is headed in the right direction. We are good proponents of products that have a quick knockdown for ticks. We know that pets are likely to be exposed to many more ticks than people are because they wander farther away from the center of the trail and ticks get into their fur. So it’s really important to have products with quick knockdown properties so that ticks fall off and potentially die before they’ve started to bite. That’s potentially effective at protecting people from tick-borne diseases as well.

DR. HOSTETLER: Would you say the same for fleas?

DR. MATHER: Definitely.

DR. BREITSCHWERDT: Probably even more important for fleas. We have products that are so much better than what they were early in my career.

DR. LORENTZEN: A lot of these infections are chronic, so it’s important to prevent them in the first place. That’s the best approach. Also, we don’t have to choose whether to treat fleas or ticks. The products now available are both broad-spectrum and effective. Owners get a lot of value for the money and prevent infection from a number of the vectors that could be threatening their dogs.

DR. MATHER: We’re working on developing an anti-tick vaccine because ticks transmit multiple agents. To develop a vaccine against each agent is quite costly. We are aiming for a broad-spectrum approach against all of the agents that ticks transmit through both vaccine development and topical products.

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