a dog’s life

Pets are normally sheltered from the harsh realities of wild living.

But across Europe, increasing temperatures will expose pets to new infectious diseases spread by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, according to new research.

In a separate paper, Claudio Genchi of the University of Milan, Italy, has found that dogs in central Europe will increasingly become vulnerable to the roundworm dirofilaria, spread by mosquitoes, as summer temperatures climb high enough for the parasite to incubate in its fly host.

Susan Shaw and colleagues at the University of Bristol, UK, have also found a significant reservoir of canine leishmaniosis in dogs living in the southern UK.

If climate change allows sandflies to spread into the country, there is a real danger the disease could spread, they warn.

New Scientist, 8 Apr 2009