TODAY   |  April 19, 2014

Deadly diseases for cats, dogs on the rise

A new report on the state of pet health in America shows that there’s been big upticks in documented instances of Lyme disease in dogs and feline immunodeficiency virus in cats. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> troubling news for pet owner. according to a new study from the nation's largest veterinary practices, deadly diseases for dogs and cats are on the rise.

>> reporter: more than 60% of u.s. households have at least one pet. for many of us, like david fein, they are part of the family.

>> he is like my child, absolutely. he is everything to me.

>> reporter: according to this new report there is discouraging news on the state of pet health. two infectious diseases affecting cats and dogs are said to be on the rise.

>> mr. mittens.

>> reporter: veterinarian says cat aids is up 30% from 2009 , primarily spread by outdoor cats, states like oklahoma, iowa and arkansas, among others, are seeing a dramatic rise.

>> unfortunately, there's no, you know, good vaccine. so annual testing to make sure your pet does not have siv and then your cat should be spayed or neutered.

>> reporter: for man's best friend a different challenge. veterinarians have seen a 21% increase in the infectious bacteria that causes lyme disease , spread by deer ticks . dogs in the northeast, states like new hampshire, massachusetts and rhode island , are among those most at risk. though dog parks can be a trouble spot for some illnesses --

>> hey, come on!

>> reporter: nina nardi says it could be lurking in your own backyard.

>> the big takeaway is just being aware of what's in, you know, your backyard. what's on the path that your dog is going to walk on.

>> reporter: vets also say animal owners should clean up after their pets and keep a close eye on any illnesses, small measures that could go a long way, keeping a loved one safe. for "today," miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles .