Knowing about ticks and the diseases they carry is just as important as knowing how to treat ticks on dogs. Ticks are a parasite from the arachnid family their diet consists 100% of blood, and they're attracted to warm-blooded mammals including dogs and humans, when not attached to a host ticks are found mainly in long grasses, woodlands and thrive in warm humid conditions. Ticks attach themselves to a host to feed and not release untill there full, this feast can last for up 3 days.
Ticks will attach to any part of a dog but like fleas can mainly be found in or around the ears,neck, base of the tail and within any skin fold. The lifespan of a tick is dependent on the
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Common Tick Transmitted Disease's
Canine Ehrlichiosis is a disease that affects dogs aswell as other creatures worldwide, although ticks are the worst culprit for spreading this disease I feel its worth to note that this disease is sometimes transmitted through blood transfusion. While all breeds of dog can be infected, German shepherds are prone to more serious infections of Ehrlichiosis
Symptoms of Ehrlichiosis
The severity and symptoms of this illness depends a lot on the individual dogs immune system. Generally the infection tends to go through various stages.
The acute stage appears in the first two weeks of being affected but is rarely fatal and the dog can recover, or the dog can enter the subclinical stage that may last for a several years, if this happens there will be no symptoms. In some cases a dog may eventually progress into the chronic stage, this is where severe illness may develop. in practise though it is very hard to distinguish these different stages.
Symptoms And Signs Of Ehrlichiosis Often Include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abnormal bleeding e.g. bleeding under the skin and nosebleed's
- Inflammation of the eye
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Discharge from the eyes and/or nose
- Pain and stiffness
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Needless to say you will need to visit the vet as a course of antibiotics is necessary at this stage. A normally healthy dog will show considerable improvement in health within 48 hours.
Lyme disease is a serious concern in various parts of the USA and is contagious to both dogs and human, the disease spread's through tick bites. Interestingly enough although lyme disease can infect both people and dogs but doesn't seem much of a threat for cats.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The most common symptoms in dogs is lameness which has a tendency to shift from one leg to another. Other symptoms often include:
- lack of appetite
The symptoms are often referred to as lyme disease nephritis.
Canine lyme disease can quickly be diagnosed with a patient-side blood test. In some areas of the States dogs testing positive for lyme disease is pretty high. In the northeast almost 50% of dogs tested have been found to be positive for lyme disease, but almost as many as 90% of dogs found positive will never show any signs of the disease. If caught early enough a straight forward 30 day course of antibiotics is normally prescribed by a vet.
Anaplasmosis is transmitted through the bite of a deer tick, and a lesser form of canine Anaplasmosis is transmitted through the brown tick. Anaplasmosis has been reported globally in a variety of species including humans.
Symptoms of Anaplasmosis:
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
In extreme cases symptoms displayed can also be:
- laboured breathing
Most dogs infected with Anaplasmosis will display symptoms in one to seven days. Interesting to note that the symptoms are very similar to those of lyme disease and its not uncommon for dogs to be infected by both illnesses simultaneously. There are 3 tests used by vets to diagnose Anaplsmosis:
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
indirect fluorescent antibody
polymerase chain reaction
Your vet will decide the most appropriate method to diagnose your dog.
treatment via antibiotics, normally administered for 30 days and dogs normally improve dramatically within 48 hours of starting treatment.
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