As the days start to get longer and the weather warms up, we are starting to spend more time outside with our furry friends! While we are emerging from the cold it is important to remember the insects are coming back out as well. If you spend any time outside with your dog is it critical to know what insects are native to your area that can cause harm to your dog as well as always checking for tick's when you bring your dog back inside
5 Tick Born Diseases in Dogs
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a common canine bacterial illness that is transmitted by blackleg ticks or deer ticks. The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that causes Lyme Disease gets into a dog's bloodstream through a tick bite. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause fever, loss of appetite, reduced energy, lameness, stiffness, discomfort, or pain, and joint swelling.
Ehrlichiosis is usually carried by the brown dog tick and affects German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers most severely when they are infected. Signs of ehrlichiosis can be divided into three stages: acute (early disease), sub-clinical (no outward signs of disease), and clinical or chronic (long-standing infection). At each stage leading up to the chronic the dog may be able to eliminate the infection on their own.
This stage may last two to four weeks and symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory distress, weight loss, sudden bleeding, and they may seem wobbly on their feet or develop meningitis
The sub-clinical phase is generally considered the worst phase as there are no outward signs of infection and so the disease goes undetected. The only hint that a dog may be infected during this phase is when the dog shows prolonged bleeding from a puncture site from routine bloodwork.
When the immune system is unable to get rid the organism dogs are likely to develop a multitude of problems. The chronic stage can include: anemia, bleeding episodes, lameness, eye problems (including hemorrhage into the eyes or blindness), neurological problems, and swollen limbs.
Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick and western black-legged tick. Canine anaplasmosis often causes lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
Dogs with anaplasmosis often have many of the same symptoms as those with Lyme disease as both Lyme disease and anaplasmosis are commonly found in the same geographic location and are transmitted by the same tick species. Most infected dogs will have symptoms for up to 7 days, but some dogs can have no symptoms at all or only minor ones.
Tick paralysis is a quickly progressing paralysis that is caused by a toxin in tick's saliva that attacks the nervous system. Early symptoms of tick paralysis in your dog include change or loss of voice, lack of coordination in their hind legs, changes in breathing rate and effort, gagging or coughing, vomiting, and dilated pupils. Symptoms typically occur 3–5 days after the tick attaches, Tick's that cause tick paralysis are the American Dog Tick and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a disease caused by an infectious bacterium called Rickettsia rickettsii. It can only survive when it is within its host's (you dog in this case), cells. In the eastern states, the most common tick to transmit this disease is the American dog tick, the wood tick in the western states, with the exception of Arizona, where the brown dog tick transmits the disease.
The signs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be vague and non-specific, typically, if your dog is infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever they may start to display a poor appetite, non-specific muscle or joint pain, fever, coughing, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of the face or legs, or depression. In severe cases where there are a lot parasites present your dog's body, extensive damage to blood vessels can cause tissue death of the extremities.