Tick Borne-Disease Initiative


Tick Talk 2016



Tick-Borne Disease Initiative

CHF is pleased to announce phase II of a matched-funding initiative to fight tick-borne diseases in dogs, which aims to educate dog-owners and find better diagnostics, preventatives, and therapeutics for dogs.

Tick-borne disease is a growing threat to canine and human health. Disease occurs when ticks infected with a pathogen bite a dog or human and transmit the pathogen into the body. Many tick-borne pathogens infect dogs, and can also infect humans; a direct tick bite is required to transmit disease. The geographic distribution of ticks is spreading, and can change yearly by season and region of the United States. The outdoors is not the only area of risk, home infestations can also occur. The most important tick-borne diseases of dogs are Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Hepatozoonosis, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Hemotropic Mycoplasmosis, and Lyme disease. All can have serious health consequences, and infection rates have been on the rise over the past five years. The feeding time required for disease transmission from a tick to a dog or person can be as little as 3 – 6 hours!


CHF issued a call for research proposals (RFP) during the first phase of the Initiative in March 2016. As of December 31, 2016, five grants have been awarded through the Initiative. These exciting exciting grants attack tick-borne disease by funding much-needed research to find new ways to prevent infections, and recognize, diagnose and treat tick-borne diseases before they become debilitating or even fatal to dogs.

More grants will be awarded through the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative during phase II in 2017.

Those of us who have owned or treated dogs with Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, or Bartonella, to name only a few, know how difficult these cases are to accurately diagnose and treat. We watch these dogs suffer, lose their ability to compete, work, or even play. While these serious illnesses spread, we see limited to no funds available to address the situation for dogs.

>>>Read about the first round of funding through the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative!

Exciting studies on Lyme diseasevector-borne disease testing for canine blood donors, and Ehrlichiosis.

>>>Read about the second round of funding through the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative!

Exciting studies on Bartonella and improved diagnostics using next generation sequencing.

Thank you to the sponsors of the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative!

Champion Sponsor ($50,000+)

English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association & English Springer Spaniel Foundation

Lead Sponsor ($25,000+)

Retriever News / Entry Express

Charter Sponsors ($10,000+)

Bearded Collie Club of America
Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc.
Greyhound Club of America
Newfoundland Club of America Charitable Trust
TarTan Gordon Setter Club

Sponsors ($2,500+)

American Shih Tzu Club Charitable Trust
American Shih Tzu Club, Inc.
American Whippet Club, Inc.
Basset Hound Club of America
Bull Terrier Club of America
Cyclone County Kennel Club of Ames, Inc.
Eastern German Shorthaired Pointer Club, Inc.
Field Spaniel Society of America
Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, Inc.
Parson Russell Terrier Association of America
Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, Inc.

Educational Resources


Fleas, Ticks, What's the Difference?
Speaker:  Dr. Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM (Parasitology), Veterinary Specialist, CAD Veterinary Specialty Operations, Zoetis Animal Health

Watch On Demand!

Tick Borne Infectious Diseases in North America: Clinical and Zoonotic Implications
Speaker: Dr. Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, NCSU

Watch on Demand!


Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, a specialist in internal medicine and infectious disease at North Carolina State University has received funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation for various infectious diseases including Bartonella spp. In this podcast, Dr. Breitschwerdt describes several common tick borne illness, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. Dr. Breitschwerdt also shares the symptoms to watch for and what treatments are available.
Listen to the podcast >>>


Tick-Borne Disease: Prevalence, Prevention and Treatment. Read CHF's whitepaper to learn more about ticks, tick-borne diseases, and how to keep your dog safe.

Fundraising for Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs Gets a Boost from AKC. Read about ticks and how tick-borne disease can impact your dog. Your support can help further research in this field, and in 2016, all donations to CHF's Tick-Borne Disease Initiative will be matched by the AKC.

Fighting Tick-Borne Disease in Dogs. Read about Felton, who was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis, and how you can make an impact in fighting tick-borne disease.

Canine Tick-Borne Disease. Lean about ticks, the diseases they can transmit and how to keep your dog safe.

Regional Prevalence of Tick-borne Disease

Distribution of tick-borne disease is associated with the species of tick endemic to a given region. Distribution of tick species, prevalence of ticks within a region and the prevalence of infectious pathogens they carry is not stable and fluctuates on a seasonal basis depending on weather, rainfall and climate. For this reason monitoring of tick-borne disease is a dynamic, ongoing process.

Keep Your Dog Safe from Tick-borne Disease

  • Learn about the ticks and diseases in your area.
  • Use effective prevention – consult your local veterinarian. Be aware that tick preventatives do not prevent disease transmission; they reduce risk by reducing the tick burden on the dog. Always use canine-approved preventatives only.
  • Most common clinical signs: local inflammation, lethargy, lack of appetite, shifting leg lameness, fever, and spontaneous bruising.
  • If your dog spends time outdoors, check them daily for ticks. Pay close attention to the head, ears, shoulders, and upper leg areas.
  • Never spray human tick repellent on your dog as these chemicals are toxic if ingested.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about annual testing for tick-borne disease. Testing is fast and effective.
  • If your dog displays signs of tick-borne disease, they may initially test negative. This is because tests that measure for the presence of antibodies against the pathogen take time to reach measurable levels in the blood. Your veterinarian may test twice using an initial “acute” sample followed by a “convalescent” sample about two weeks later. Alternately, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests for the actual pathogens.

Species of Ticks That Carry Infectious Pathogens

For a longer, more detailed look at ticks and tick-borne disease, please refer to our whitepaper.




Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

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