What You Should Know About Tick Borne Diseases

What You Should Know About Tick Borne Diseases

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick transmitted diseases in the world.  This disease can affect dogs, cats, horses, cattle, birds, wild animals and people.  Lyme disease can be found in every U.S. state and every Canadian province.  Your pet can be exposed to these infections in almost any outdoor location where ticks can be found.  Dogs are 50% more likely to contract Lyme disease than humans.

Your pet can very easily contract Lyme disease or other tick borne diseases through a simple tick bite.  Here is how the cycle works:

There are different diseases that can be spread by different ticks.   The most common ticks are the deer tick, dog tick, brown dog tick and the lone star tick.  To help differentiate between the different types of ticks, here are some images of the ticks:


Each type of tick can spread different diseases to you or your pet.  Each disease has different symptoms that may be present by your beloved pet, so below we have replicated a chart from the Idexx Company showing what different symptoms to watch for:

Lyme Disease Anaplasmosis Ehrlichiosis
Host Tick Deer Tick Deer Tick Brown Dog Tick
  Lameness Lack of energy Loss of appetite
Most Common  Fever High fever Depression
Signs of Infection Swollen joints Swollen, very painfull joints Fever
  Kidney Failure Loss of appetite Painful joints
  “Not himself/herself” Vomiting Bloody nose
  Anorexia Diarrhea Pale gums
    Very low numbers of platelets  Permanent blindness, 
Disease Progression  Damaged joints, fatal (clotting cells in the blood) autoimmune disease, 
(If left untreated)  kidney disease (rare).  and white blood cells (infection bleeding complications
    fighting cells), chronic joint pain and possibly
    neuroligical signs (rare).  death. 
  Co-infection of Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis is possible.  
Co-infection  It is possible for your pet to have multiple parasitic diseases – including some 
  not mentioned in this chart.  
Diagnosis A simple blood test can be performed in hospital to test for these diseases. 
  Antibiotics: Antibiotics: Antibiotics:
Treatment Doxycycline,  Doxycycline,  Doxycycline, 
  Tetracycline Tetracycline Tetracycline
Prognosis If caught and treated early, the outcome is usually very good for a full recovery.
  Some of these infections cannot be cured completely, but early intervention is best.
Vaccine Available Yes No No
Other Prevention Daily tick inspection and removal, and the us of topical products to kill ticks 
  within 24 to 48 hours of feeding from your pet.   


Even if you and your pet do not walk in fields or areas with long grass, there are still ticks present in lawns, gardens and possibly your own back yard.  If you do see a tick on your pet, before you try to pull it off, we recommend using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.   Pour it directly onto the tick which will stun the tick to allow easier removal.  After 5 minutes have passed you may remove the tick with a pair of tweezers or a tick remover provided from the clinic.  Because Lyme disease is transmissible to humans, we recommend you do not use your fingers to remove the tick.  If you are having difficulties with this process, you can call us at (519) 250-0099 and we can remove the tick for you.

You cannot directly contract Lyme disease from your pet.  But if the same tick chooses to take a blood meal from you as well it is possible that tick could transmit the disease to you.  Whenever enjoying outdoor activities with your pet and your family, remember to inspect each individual for ticks.  A dog may not begin to show symptoms until 2 to 6 months after the tick has bitten them.  Other preventative measures include topical liquids that can be applied to your pet’s skin monthly to kill ticks that may feed off of your pet.  Annual heartworm tests performed at the Town and Country Animal Clinic also test for Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis.  A blood sample performed on your pet yearly may help prevent this potentially life threatening disease.




The resource for the information in this blog was provided by: http://www.dogsandticks.com/diseases_in_your_area.php


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