By Jim Moodie, The Sudbury Star
Horse owners in the Sudbury area are being told to look out for disease-carrying ticks.
Espanola veterinarian P.J. Rocheleau says a trio of horses from the Hanmer/Capreol area have tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent in Lyme disease.
“Testing was requested by the owner after the family dog was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease,” writes Rocheleau in a notice posted at the Espanola Animal Hospital Facebook page. “All three horses were strongly positive for the antigen, and some are believed to have shown some signs of the disease.”
Lyme disease is communicated by deer ticks — tiny parasitic bugs, not much bigger than a freckle — that stay attached to a host for a day or longer.
According to Rocheleau, the disease primarily affects humans, but can also afflict animals that get bitten by the parasites.
“Signs in dogs and horses are non-specific and include hay fever, lethargy, stiffness, muscular pain and swollen, painful joints,” he writes.