Summers are not only famous for barbeque in the backyard, road trips or visit parks but also a season for tick-borne diseases, that spreads and escalates tremendously once the summer starts. Warm weather provides the favorable environment for ticks to come fore and reproduce. The multitude in ticks populate is the normal scenario during this time. Further, this paves the way to increased cases of Lyme diseases – the most common tick-borne disease apart from a tick carrying other viruses.
Government surveys and reports say that the diseases in pets, caused by flea, mosquito, and tick bites triples across the whole continent of America during summer. Considering this, many pet parents start strategizing the plan to control these nasty creatures before the summer sets in.
During summers, ticks can easily latch onto your pet’s skin and cause infection. Therefore, every pet parent needs to check for tick infestation. Tick-borne diseases are highly dangerous and can be fatal at times.
Top 8 Tick-Borne Diseases
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- American Canine Hepatozoonosis
- Tick Paralysis
Usually, Lyme disease is caused due to deer ticks or black-legged ticks. The infested ticks carry the bacteria, which is ingested in dog/cat when they suck blood. Some of the common symptoms of Lyme disease are lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and a reduced appetite. In severe cases, animals may develop kidney disease, heart conditions, or nervous system disorders. A vet will recommend oral antibiotics for treating this disease. However, the best option is prevention by using flea and tick treatments to control Lyme disease.
Read More: 5 Clinical Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Dogs in East, Midwest, and plains of the U.S. are usually infested with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It is transmitted through American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain fever tick. Fever, reduced appetite, depression, pain in the joints, lameness, vomiting, and diarrhea are the major symptoms of this disease. Treatment is given in form of antibiotics but as a precautionary measure, vets always recommend to treat dogs/cats with monthly tick treatments like Advantix, Revolution or Simparica.
American Canine Hepatozoonosis
As the name suggests, this disease is commonly found in Fidos. The dogs in the central and southeastern U.S are highly hit by this disease. This tick-borne disease occurs due to the biting of Gulf Coast tick. The infection is usually severe and often fatal when symptoms like high fever, stiffness, and pain upon movement, weight loss, and complete loss of appetite are totally ignored followed by lack of treatment. It takes years of treatment for the infected dog to recover. Therefore, government agencies and veterinary communities advise pet parents to keep their furry companion on monthly flea and tick treatments.
Apart from transmitting Lyme disease, deer ticks or black-legged ticks are responsible for causing canine anaplasmosis. Moreover, another bacteria transmitted by brown dog tick causes anaplasmosis that is more common in dogs and cats. Infected with this disease, dogs or cats can show signs like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and possible nervous system disorders. In the initial stage, symptoms are not visible but as it advances, the signs become more prominent. The veterinarian plans treatment according to the severity of the disease. However, normally vets suggest starting tick preventives as soon as possible.
Commonly found in dogs and cats, Babesiosis is transmitted through ticks, which leads to anemic condition. Major symptoms of this disease in dogs are pale gums, depression, swollen lymph nodes, dark-colored urine, and fever. In severe cases, dogs may go into shock. As no vaccination is known for the protection against this disease, usually vets suggest flea and tick prevention year round.
Not by single, but Tularemia is carried by four varieties of ticks in North America. Compared to dogs, in this case, cats are more infected. They show the signs of swollen lymph nodes, high fever, a nasal discharge and possibly abscesses at the site of the tick bite. Dogs exhibit the signs of reduced appetite, a mild fever, and depression. Though antibiotics are given to treat this disease, keeping pets indoors is more preferable along with using flea and tick control products. A proper tick management plan helps to eliminate the chances of this disease.
One of its kinds, this disease is transmitted by both fleas and ticks. Distressing the health of dogs and cats, the infection causes feline infectious anemia in cats whereas no plausible signs are seen in dogs. Antibiotics for several months are given, and if necessary transfusion of blood is carried out in severe cases. As it a severe disease and can be caused by both fleas and ticks, pet parents are usually advised to keep their furry companions on flea and tick treatments and preventives.
Tick paralysis is the most dangerous tick-borne disease. It is caused by a toxin secreted by ticks. The infection directly hits the nervous system of the animal. Infected dogs become weak and limp whereas no possible signs are seen in cats. As the condition deteriorates, it can be fatal. Therefore, tick preventives and treatments are recommended by vets.
These tick-borne diseases are highly dangerous when ignored and not treated. And the summers show the increased frequency across the United States. Therefore, the best way to keep your pet safe is an effective flea and tick control preventives. These parasitic treatments minimize the chances of tick-borne diseases in dogs and cats. So, get going this summer to help your pet enjoy the walks and parks and lead a tick-free life.