Ticks and Dogs
Dogs are at high risk of encountering ticks, acquiring tick bites, and catching the diseases ticks may carry. Due to their generally rambunctious and roaming nature, dogs venture more often into tick infested areas. Their thick fur coats and close proximity to natural tick habitats increases their chances of collecting and successfully hiding the creepy little stowaways.
Ticks can pass along several diseases to dogs, with few vaccinations to help prevention. The following is a list of the most common tick borne diseases contracted by dogs, and their associated symptoms, as provided by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation:
Lyme disease, which comes from the deer tick, can cause stiffness, lameness, swollen joints, loss of appetite, fever and fatigue. Your dog may not show signs of the disease until several months after infected.
Canine Ehrlichiosis, found worldwide, is the most common and one of the most dangerous tick-borne disease organisms known to infect dogs. Caused by the brown dog tick, symptoms may not surface for months after transmission, and can include fever, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, runny eyes and nose, nose bleeds and swollen limbs.
Canine Anaplasmosis, also called dog fever or dog tick fever, is transmitted from the deer tick. Symptoms are similar to other tick diseases including fever, loss of appetite, stiff joints and lethargy, but also can include vomiting, diarrhea. In extreme cases, dogs may suffer seizures.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever comes from the American dog tick, the wood tick and the lone star tick. Symptoms include fever, stiffness, neurological problems and skin lesions. Typically the illness lasts about two weeks, but serious cases could result in death.
Canine Babesiosis is typically transmitted by the American dog tick and the brown dog tick. Causing anemia, symptoms may also include pale gums, weakness and vomiting.
Canine Bartonellosis comes from the brown dog tick. Symptoms are intermittent lameness and fever. Left untreated, this disease can result in heart or liver disease.
Canine Hepatozoonosis is thought to be transmitted by the brown dog tick and Gulf Coast ticks. Your dog can be infected if he eats one of these disease-carrying ticks. Symptoms are fever, runny eyes and nose, muscle pain and diarrhea with the presence of blood.
If your dog has been bitten by a tick and is showing any of the above symptoms, be sure to get them veterinarian help as soon as possible.
As with humans, prevention is key to avoiding tick bites on dogs. There are many steps you can take to protect your furry pals, including:
Use a proven, effective tick repellent. When applying repellent to your furry pal, be sure to spray all over the body, but not directly onto the face - instead spray the repellent into your hands then rub over the facial area, being careful to avoid the mouth, nose and eyes. If your pup is stressed or fearful, use this method for full body application.
Avoid tick infested areas. Stay on the trails, avoiding areas of overgrown vegetation. This will be easier to accomplish if you keep your dog leashed.
Conduct regular tick checks. It’s particularly important to check your pets whenever they come and go from the outside, as they can easily transport ticks into your home, putting everyone inside at risk. Ticks will bite wherever they can, but tend to gravitate toward dark, moist areas, so be sure to closely examine foot pads, groin areas, ear folds, armpits, and snouts.
Tick and Canadian Winters
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Tick Borne Diseases
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As unpleasant as it may be, it can be beneficial to keep the tick after removal. If you decide to do this you will need place the tick in a sealable container, like this one included in our AtlanTick Tick Kit. You can add alcohol to the container to submerge and kill the tick, while allowing it to remain intact. Once safely contained you can use the saved tick to identify the species, and the potential risks associated with it. We strongly urge you to be sure the the tick is dead before disposing of it.