Ticks are the tenacious creatures that mess up with pets irrespective of any seasons. However, it is essential for pet-parents to know that ticks are more than just parasites. They not only cause itching and scratching to dogs but it can engender fatal diseases if not taken care. And, that’s why we’re going to throw some light on facts about every tick-borne disease in dogs. Let’s dig deeper.
What Are Tick-Borne Diseases?
Ticks are the eight-legged bloodsuckers that attach themselves to animals and people to feed on them by sucking their blood. The moment when ticks feed on the host’s blood is when they transmit diseases directly into their system. The infected tick can bite the host and lead to malignant diseases into their body. These tick-borne diseases can have serious health ramifications not only for dogs but also for humans.
Facts About Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs and Humans
Fact 1: Lyme disease known as Lyme borreliosis is a zoonotic disease that can affect both humans and animals. Borrelia burgdorferi is a worm like and spiral-shaped bacterium that causes Lyme disease. It is generally transmitted from deer ticks that can be found in the wooded, grassy or forest areas. A dog affected with Lyme disease can display symptoms such as lethargy, fever, lameness, joint pain or swelling and enlargement of lymph nodes.
Fact 2: Anaplasmosis is another bacterial disease passed by tick to humans and dogs. It is caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum and is transmitted through deer ticks also known as black-legged ticks and western black-legged ticks. A subsidiary form of anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma platys and is transmitted through brown-dog tick. The symptoms of this disease are similar as Lyme disease, however, the dogs with Anaplasma have low blood platelets that causes bleeding disorders.
Fact 3: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a common tick-borne disease that affects dog and humans. Brown deer tick, rocky mountain wood tick and American dog tick causes this disease. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is most common in the regions of North, South and Central America. Its signs include poor appetite, fever, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and blood not coagulating.
Fact 4: Babesiosis is a disease spread by the bite of a deer tick that attacks red blood cells. It can cause infection in dogs due tick transmission, transplacental transmission or direct transmission via blood transfer from dog bites. Babesiosis is similar to malaria, so it can affect humans and dogs as well as cattle. The clinical symptoms of babesiosis are-pale gums, lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, unusual urine and yellow or orange-tinged skin.
Fact 5: Ehrlichiosis in dogs is caused by an organism caused Ehrlichia that likes to live inside the blood cells and can destroy platelets involved with blood clotting. This disease is transmitted through several types of ticks including Lone star tick, Brown dog tick and American dog tick that mimics flu. The symptoms of Ehrlichiosis in dogs are-poor appetite, fever, fatigue, muscle ache and low blood platelets.
Fact 6: Tularemia is known as a rabbit fever as it is commonly found in rabbits and other rodents. Generally, dogs are resistant to this disease as their immune system can fight off the infection. However, this tick-borne disease can be easily transmitted to humans through Lone star ticks, Wood ticks and Dog ticks. Tularemia can spread in humans by entering the skin through a tick bite but the most fever form of this disease is by inhaling the bacteria.
Therefore, after knowing the facts about all dangerous tick-borne diseases, it’s crucial to beware of its prevention before the going gets tough.
How to Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases?
Ticks infection can be a serious risk for pets as well as humans. As far as pets are concerned, it is imperative for pet-parents to protect their dogs with tick treatments and tick preventives in order to keep those dangerous parasites away from causing fatal diseases. Moreover, do not provide any flea and tick preventives or treatments to your pet before consulting your vet. Prevention is the best approach, so why not to go for it.
About Author: Jamie Hytten is a Birmingham based content writer & guest blogger; he loves to share his knowledge & experiences of pet health care through his articles. When he is not writing, Jamie loves to spend time with his family & explore new places with his fur friend Roco.