Tick Time: 6 Types of Ticks and Diseases they Carry
While our pets can come in contact with a tick at any time during the year, spring through summer and into fall is often the time that ticks are out looking for a new blood donor. Ticks can also take up temporary residence on people causing illness and infection. Lyme disease is one disease that can be contracted by both pets and humans, and one that can cause lifelong chronic problems if not treated quickly and properly.
Being able to recognize the difference between one tick and another is important when reporting the contact to your pet’s vet or your own doctor. There are 6 kinds of ticks which are noted below along with the common diseases they can carry:
• Deer/Black Legged Tick: Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis
• Western Black Legged Tick: Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis
• Brown Dog Tick: Ehrlichiosis, Hepatozoonosis, Babesiosis
• Long Star Tick: Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
• American Dog Tick or Wood Tick: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Tick Paralysis
• Gulf Coast Tick: Hepatozoonosis
Lyme Disease in Dogs:
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases diagnosed in the U.S. and northern hemisphere. Early signs of Lyme in dogs include:
• Circular skin rash (often missed due to dog hair covering it)
Lyme left untreated in dogs can have the following additional signs:
• Joint complications
• Kidney issues
• Heart / cardiovascular system less commonly affected
• Central Nervous System effects are also an uncommon symptom
Statistics for Lyme Disease
Approximately 75 % of unvaccinated dogs in the U.S. and northern hemisphere will eventually test positive for contact with a tick carrying Lyme Disease
Lyme Treatment for Dogs
The sooner the treatment is started the easier it is to control with antibiotics. Your veterinarian will decide on the proper course of treatment, typically using a course of antibiotics. Within 48 hours of beginning treatment your pet should start to show signs of improvement.
Do a coat and body check on your pet every time you have been out for a walk in the woods or a romp around your back yard. Infection from a deer tick for example may take as long as 24 to 48 hours after they have had their initial bite, so it is a critical preventive measure to brush and groom your pet daily to look for any small ticks that may have taken up lodging on your pet.
Speak with your veterinarian about optional measures for flea, tick, and parasite control
More information is available on the website of Lyme Info.
Check out Pets and Parasites website for more information on pet parasites.
Have fun with your pet and stay alert to keep both of you safe and parasite free!