Dogs can get very sick when they are bitten by ticks, and in many cases, it only takes the bite of a single parasite. What makes it even worse is that your pet can pick up ticks most anywhere including the park, your garden and your backyard. The following ailments are the top tick diseases in dogs today, and some of them can even affect humans.
Top Tick Diseases
- Babesiosis – This is an aggressive disease that feeds on red blood cells in your dog. Babesiosis destroys your pet’s immune system and includes such symptoms as paralysis of limbs and loss of appetite. Your dog may also refuse to drink and will not be able to eliminate. Left untreated, your pet could die.
- Erhlichiosis – This disease destroys your dogs white blood cells. While Erhlichiosis is less aggressive than Babesiosis, its symptoms are quite similar. However, in addition to all of the above symptoms, your pet may also show an abnormal accumulation of fluid in its eyes. This condition can also be fatal if ignored.
- Lyme Disease – Lyme disease is not only dangerous to your dog, but it can affect you and your family as well. It typically appears anywhere from two to five months after an infected tick bites your pet. Symptoms of Lyme Disease are similar to both Babesiosis and Erhlichiosis. If not treated quickly, your dog could suffer from severe liver damage, which can be fatal.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – This disease is caused when an infected tick bites your dog. Symptoms of RMSF include vomiting, fever, headaches, muscle pain and loss of appetite. There may also be diarrhea, rashes, joint pain and stomachaches. While RMSF can be disabling to both dogs and humans, it can be cured if treated early enough.
- Anemia – For a tick to survive, it needs to feed off of the blood of a host which leaves your pet suffering from anemia. With that said, if your dog becomes infested with a large amount of the parasites, it can become anemic. Severe infestations can even be fatal without a blood transfusion.
How to Prevent Ticks on Dogs
If you and your dog are going to be outdoors for any length of time, you need to wear some form of tick repellent for dogs. This is especially important if you are going to be walking through a wooded area. Additionally, make sure that you choose a tick repellent for dogs that is effective against all types of ticks.
Always check for ticks on dogs after coming indoors and use appropriate measures for tick removal. Never crush or burn the parasites, as they may contain eggs, which can remain dormant for as long as a year. Thus, the best way to rid your pet of these annoying pests is to use a good flea and tick shampoo or dip.
In addition to shampooing your pet, make sure you spray your pet’s bedding and other living quarters as well. Whenever you find ticks on dogs, the first thing you need to do is to perform the proper tick removal. There are many terrific products on the market that are effective in killing all types of ticks. Here you can find tips to give a proper grooming to your pet.