Diseases Diseases

Tick Diseases: A Hidden Danger To Your Dogs


Ticks are tiny insects that can be found anywhere but mostly live in wooded areas, parks, or grassy fields. Even though dogs love to wonder through these areas for exercise, it is very easy for a dog to get bitten by a tick. A dog is more vulnerable during the tick season between the months of May and September, however, it does not mean a dog cannot get ticks at any other time of the year. Ticks will stick to a dog’s skin and suck the blood, which could result from an infection or disease. However, most ticks will not carry tick diseases or cause harm to a dog. Ticks love to hide on a dog’s head; neck and stomach as well as dogs’ ears and paws. Ticks can jump off a dog onto its owner or another member of the family as well as another animal in the house. Ticks after feeding on a dog will not take another host. Symptoms may not appear until after 7 to 21 days later but it is important to watch for fever, tiredness, lack of energy, tender, pain and swelling in the dogs’ legs, difficulty in walking, pale gums, depression, and loss of appetite. There are a variety of tick diseases but some include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Canine Ehrlichiosiis, and Canine Babesioses.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease affects humans as well as dogs and is carried by a deer tick that causes Lyme disease. Symptoms may take months to show up and can imitate other diseases or illnesses. Symptoms include arthritis, fever, headache, tiredness, and skin rash. If Lyme disease is left untreated can travel to the joints, heart and nervous system.

Rocky Mount spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is produced by a bacterium Rickettsia Rickettsii and is carried by the wood tick and the lone star tick. It is found in regions mostly in the United Stated with California and the Rockies being the most prominent. This tick spreads the disease by the bite and gains access through the dog’s saliva. Classic signs of Rock Mountain spotted fever are fever, bruises, difficulty in walking, and neurological problems.

Canine Ehrichiosis/Babeshioses

Tick diseases, such as canine Ehrlichosis is caused by a bacterium Ertichia canais that is transmitted by a brown dog tick and Ehritichia Ewingi is transmitted by the lone star tick. It is a brown tick and symptoms take months to appear. Ehrichiosis is found in the Southwest and Gulf Coast regions. Symptoms include joint pain, less hungry, runny eyes and nose, depression, swollen lymph gland, nose bleeds, bruising on gums and stomach.

Canine Babeshioses

Tick diseases, such as canine Babeshioses is spread by tick bites. It is different than other tick diseases because it is introduced into the dog's blood by the tick and not by the bacterium. When a tick bites the dog, the organisium will spread into the blood stream causing anemia. Babeshioses is found worldwide but associated by the region and reasons. Symptoms of Babesiosis include fever, blood tinged nasal discharge, labored breathing, pale gums, weakness, tiredness, jaundice, coughing and respiratorydistress.

By Beverly Block, published at 01/24/2012
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