Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs (April 2019)

Summer is quickly approaching this year, so you know what that means – it’s tick season.

Ticks carry a number of diseases that threaten the lives of multiple dogs every year, so it’s important to know what they are and what you need to look for.

Unfortunately, there are tick-borne diseases that target both dogs and humans, so pay attention to what I’m about to tell you.

How Ticks Transmit Diseases

Ticks transmit diseases by attaching themselves to the skin of the dog, feeding on the blood, and transmitting whatever disease they have directly into the system of the dog.

Every year, thousands of dogs are subjected to infection from a number of tick-borne diseases.

Tick-Borne Diseases

Unfortunately, there are a lot of diseases out there that are transmitted through a tick feasting on your dog’s blood.

Lyme Disease

Everyone knows the classic disease transmitted by ticks – Lyme disease. This particular disease comes from deer ticks. It causes swollen joints, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and stiffness.

Unfortunately, it may takes months after the initial infection for the symptoms to begin, so don’t feel bad if you miss identifying Lyme disease on your own.

Canine Anaplasmosis

Also known as dog tick fever, this disease is also transmitted through deer ticks. It causes stiff joints, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and, in more extreme cases, seizures.

Canine Ehrlichiosis

This is one of the most dangerous tick-borne diseases that is found all over the world, which is transmitted by the brown dog tick. It causes swollen limbs, runny eyes, runny nose, nose bleeds, depression, weight loss, loss of appetite, and fever.

Like Lyme disease, this disease won’t show symptoms straight away.

Canine Bartonellosis

This disease also comes from the brown dog tick, which causes fever, intermittent lameness, and, if left untreated, liver or heart disease.

Canine Babesiosis

Transmitted from the brown dog tick and the American dog tick, this disease causes pale gums, vomiting, weakness, and anemia.

Canine Hepatozoonosis

Transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick and the brown dog tick, it causes runny eyes, runny nose, bloody diarrhea, muscle pain, and fever.

This tick-borne disease is a little different from the others, however. A dog must eat one of the above ticks to have the disease transmitted into their system.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This one comes from the lone star tick, the wood tick, and the American dog tick. It causes neurological problems, skin lesions, stiffness, and fever.

Most dogs who have transmitted this disease can be free from it in as little as two weeks.

However, if left untreated and your dog’s case is a serious one, he could die.

Preventing Tick-Borne Diseases

There is no way to prevent tick-borne diseases completely, but there are ways to prevent them from occurring to the best of your ability.

Tick collars and topical treatments, for example, have proven to be the most effective methods in preventing tick-born diseases in dogs.

If you have open fields on your property where your dog runs, make sure you treat the area with tick treatments each year.

If you live in an area that runs rampant with ticks during the summer months, make sure you do your research and keep your dogs out of the tall grass.

Treatment for Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs

Unfortunately, not all diseases will show symptoms immediately, so treatment can be a difficult subject.

The best way to ensure your dog receives proper testing and treatment for tick-borne diseases, is to bring him to the vet during the summer months.

A simple exam may save your dog’s life.

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