Ticks can be a nuisance for your dog (or cat), but more importantly, ticks can spread some diseases that aren’t very pleasant. Moreover, it is important for the health and safety of your pets to take precautions and protect them from ticks. Therefore, in this article today we will be discussing some of the main diseases that can be transmitted from ticks to your pets, and what you can do to protect them.
American Canine Hepatozoonosis ( or ACH )
First up, let us talk about ACH, which is probably one of the most dangerous diseases because it is usually fatal, and this disease is not transmitted through a bite, but rather ingestion of an adult tick. Dogs living in the southern states are more prone to this disease than anywhere else, and dogs can ingest these pests while grooming or licking themselves easily. Symptoms can be quite numerous, but the more obvious ones are loss of weight, loss of appetite, stiffness or pain when moving around, and although treatment is by using drugs like antibiotics and ant-inflammatories, if the animal survives ongoing treatment it can still last for years.
This is another nasty disease that can be transmitted by ticks and signs usually start to show themselves after about a week after being bitten. That being said, dogs seem to be the most affected while cats seem to be much less affected by this disease. Furthermore, a dog usually shows signs of weakness in the rear legs, leading to all four limbs. Difficulty in breathing and swallowing follows and can result in death if not treated, and depending on the severity of the individual case, breathing help may also be needed, but there is an antitoxin available.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
This disease is more widespread so it is more common than the other diseases mentioned, but having said that, the tick would have to be attached to the animal for at least 5hrs for transmission to occur. Symptoms of RMSF can be high fever, vomiting, weakness, lameness, pain and depression, and usually antibiotics are used to treat this disease. This disease is spread by the American dog tick, and the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever tick.
There are many other types of diseases that can be spread by either a tick bite or by an animal swallowing a tick, and there are several preventative measures you can take. For instance, brush your dog after walks, and it is better if you use a flea and tick fine tooth comb, but you can also talk to your vet about vaccinations against certain tick diseases, like Lyme disease. Moreover, some diseases are past on in a short time frame, while others, like Lyme disease, require a tick to remain on the animal for up to a day or more in order to transmit the disease. Finally, be safe and don’t be afraid to ask your vet questions about tick safety measures, remember he’s there to help you and your pet.