Press release by Derinda Blakeney, APR,OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
(STILLWATER, Okla., June 21, 2018) – It’s not every day you see a new tick! Dr. Susan Little’s research group at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences recently identified a nymphal longhorned tick or bush tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. The tick came from a dog in Arkansas through a national tick surveillance project being conducted by Little’s team. The OSU lab confirmed the morphologic identification by sequencing and reported the finding to the United States Department of Agriculture.
According to Little, a renowned veterinary parasitologist, the finding wasn’t altogether surprising.
“We knew to be on the lookout for this tick given recent reports in New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia,” said Little. “We are very glad we were able to assist on efforts to understand the current distribution of this new species.”
Originally from East Asia, the longhorn tick successfully established itself in other areas of the world including Australia, New Zealand, and perhaps now, the eastern United States. It readily feeds on cattle, small ruminants, horses, dogs, cats, people, and several common wildlife species.
Most modern tick control products are effective against this tick in other areas of the world. To protect yourself and your animals from this tick or any tick, Dr. Little recommends routine use of year-round tick preventive. Your veterinarian can suggest the best method for your particular animals.
Surveillance is ongoing at this time to learn more about where the tick is in North America and what diseases – if any – it may be transmitting. If you find unusual ticks on animals, please feel free to submit them to Oklahoma State University’s veterinary center for identification. Instructions on submitting can be found at www.showusyourticks.org
Susan Little, DVM, Ph.D., is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (Parasitology). A professor in the veterinary center’s Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, she holds the Krull-Ewing Endowed Chair in Veterinary Parasitology.
OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is the only veterinary college in Oklahoma and one of only 30 veterinary colleges in the United States. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. The Hospital offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.
Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.