When we think of tick-borne illnesses, it is commonplace to assume it only affects humans. The number of people affected by tick-borne diseases is growing, but our beloved pets can also suffer. Just like us, dogs can suffer the devastating symptoms of Lyme disease.
The state of Connecticut is within the top ten for reported cases of Lyme disease in humans. It is unknown what the exact statistics are for Lyme disease in dogs in the state. But if you only take into consideration the human statistics, it shows that there is a colossal tick infestation problem in Connecticut.
You will be glad to know Lyme disease only affects between five and fifteen percent of dogs. Although, dogs can still suffer from the various tick-borne illnesses, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Babesiosis.
Knowledge is power. To help protect our beloved pets, we must educate ourselves on how tick-borne diseases manifest in canines. In this article, we will break down the various tick-borne illnesses and how you can protect your dogs from them.
1. Lyme Disease
Dogs experience Lyme disease in a similar manner to humans. They can feel pain and swelling of the joints, loss of appetite, and fever. A tick has to be attached to the host for a matter of 36 to 48 hours for bacteria transmission to occur. The transmission of bacteria only takes a short amount of time, but Lyme symptoms may not set in until two to five months.
Some dogs can carry Lyme disease and not show any signs or symptoms. Be sure to consult your veterinarian at your annual check-ups if you know you live in a tick-infested area.
Like the other tick-borne illnesses mentioned in this article, humans can suffer from Bartonella as well. The emerging infection often coexists with Lyme. It lives in the lining of the blood vessels and can cause a multitude of symptoms. Some of those include irregular heartbeat, swollen or painful lymph nodes, fever, and muscle pain.
3. Canine Ehrlichiosis
Unlike most types of tick-borne diseases, Canine Ehrlichiosis can be transmitted through various species of ticks. Some of those include the Lone Star Tick, Brown Dogs ticks, and The American Dog Tick. An overwhelming myriad of symptoms can occur with this disease.
Dogs who suffer from it experience weight loss, abnormal bleeding, fever, and lethargy. Those are just a few of the many concerning symptoms that this awful disease can cause.
4. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Another well-known disease caused by tick bites, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, causes alarming manifestations in dogs. Some dogs have even suffered from neurological symptoms due to this illness. A symptom referred to as wobbliness makes the dog walk as though they are intoxicated. They can also suffer from many of the physical symptoms mentioned above.
To keep this brief, Anaplasma manifests similarly in dogs as Lyme disease does. It is caused by the bite of one of the most common ticks in Connecticut, The Deer Tick. This tick is also known as The Black-Legged Tick (Ixodes).
Dogs that suffer from Anaplasma can also experience low blood platelets. Low levels of blood platelets can cause bleeding disorders.
How to Protect Your Dog
For some of us, our dogs are like children. Tick-borne diseases have a long-lasting effect on our dog's bodies, causing tremendous damage to major organs. For those two reasons, it comes as no surprise that we would want to do everything in our power to prevent them from suffering.
Tick and Flea Medications
Most oral tick and flea prevention treatments can be purchased at your local pet supply store. Brands like Frontline Plus, NexGard, and Simpiarca are most readily available.
After your furry friend comes inside, conduct a thorough check of their body for any bites or ticks. If you find either on your dog, seek vet treatment immediately.
There are many over the counter dog tick spray repellents available. If you are ingredient-conscious you can find natural versions.
Treatment is possible, but prevention is crucial. If you are aware of a tick, flea, or mosquito infestation around your home, you should eliminate it. Prevention is best executed when the source of the problem is removed.
If you are interested in exterminating the ticks around your home, contact us today! We are the best tick and flea exterminators in the state of Connecticut! Let us help you protect you and your furry canine friend. We service Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, and the surrounding areas.