Tick Season Is Coming: Keep Your Pup Safe

Here in Alabama and around the country, tick season is quickly approaching, which means that now’s the time to start thinking about tick prevention for your beloved pet.

It is critical to protect your dog against ticks, as there are several tick-borne diseases transmitted to dogs in the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the potential problems that ticks can carry with information from the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation.

Tick DiseasesLyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted from most commonly from deer ticks, and can affects dogs as well as humans. Symptoms include stiffness and swollen joints, lameness, a noticeable loss of appetite, general fatigue and fever.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever comes from American dog ticks, wood ticks and lone star ticks. Fortunately this is a short-lived disease if your pup is infected – typically running its course in about two weeks – but it can cause fever, skin lesions, stiffness and neurological problems.

Canine Ehrlichiosis

This is the most common tick-borne disease for dogs, in addition to being one of the most dangerous. Canine ehrlichiosis is carried by brown dog ticks and a dog can be infected for several months before showing any sign of an issue. Symptoms of this disease can fever, depression, loss of appetite, runny eyes and nose, weight loss, lethargy and stiff joints. In severe cases, some dogs experience seizures which can be particularly harrowing for dog owners!

Canine Anaplasmosis

Canine anaplasmosis is also known as dog fever or dog tick fever, and is spread through the bite of deer ticks. Infected dogs can show a range of symptoms, including loss of appetite, stiff joints, a generally lethargic demeanor and loss of appetite. Less common symptoms can include vomiting and/or diarrhea, and in the most extreme cases, dogs can experience seizures.

Canine Hepatozoonosis

This disease is believed to be transmitted by brown dog ticks and Gulf Coast ticks, but unlike most diseases, this infection is transmitted to your dog if he or she eats an infected tick. Dogs show a similar range of symptoms with this disease as well, with signs including fever, muscle pain, runny eyes and nose and bloody diarrhea.

Canine Babesiosis

This is transmitted by American dog ticks and brown dog ticks and can cause your dog to become anemic. Other symptoms include paleness of the gums, weakness and vomiting.

Canine Bartonellosis

This tick-borne disease is spread by brown dog ticks and can cause symptoms that may flare up or fade away over time, include fever and lameness. This can make it difficult to identify, but it’s important to check for an infection as if it is left untreated, it can lead to heart or liver disease.

The best way to protect your dog against one of these tick-borne diseases is through prevention. There are many preventative medications that can offer protection for your pup, but no method offers 100 percent protection. Check your dog after any trips or walks, especially into deeply wooded areas, and if you find signs of a tick, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible since early diagnosis and treatment is critical.

At Patti’s Dachshund Farm, I work to raise healthy and happy pups that will enjoy a long life with you and your family. To learn more about currently available puppies or to inquire about upcoming litters, call me today at 334-385-2600 or 713-591-7412.