Some of you may remember I posted about how important Flea and Tick Protection is to our furry family members. Today I am going to mention a few samples of tick-borne diseases in dogs and cats.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an infections, tick-borne disease caused when the tick is attached to the host for 5-20 hours before it can transmit the disease. RMSF occurs most often in the spring and summer when ticks are most active. At increased risk are dogs younger than four years of age and large breed dogs primarily because those dogs are more likely to be outdoors. Studies have shown that Purebred dogs are more likely to develop symptoms of RMSF than are non-purebred dogs. Almost 70% of the cases of RMSF reported have been along the East Coast and particularly south of Virginia.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is treatable and most pets diagnosed with it require hospitalization which varies from 24 hours to several days. An IV is placed to prevent dehydration and/or to administer medications in animals that are too sick to take the medication orally due to vomiting. Antibiotics are administered and a favorable response is usually seen with 24-48 hours. Treatment of RMSF usually requires a 2-3 week course of antibiotics.
Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease characterized by lethargy, fever, lameness, and sometimes bleeding tendencies. The disease is predominantly spread by the brown dog tick in the U.S. Ticks can be seen on the infected dog less than half the time, however, infrequently, ehrlichiosis can be caused by the transfusion of infected blood. This particular disease is much more common in dogs than cats. It can be seen in any age dog but appears to be more common in middle-aged animals. Once again, purebred dogs appear to be more susceptible than crossbred dogs. Impact on individual animals can vary from mild to severe / life threatening. Depending on the severity of clinical signs, treatment options may include outpatient care or may require hospitalization. Antibiotic therapy is necessary for cases of Ehrlichiosis. Antibiotic therapy is usually given for 2-3 weeks. Prognosis is excellent if caught early. Dogs in the acute phase of the disease often show improvement within 72 hours of starting antibiotics. Prognosis with chronic cases varies and may require prolonged treatment.
Lyme disease is a clinical disorder caused by a microscopic organism and is spread by ticks. The deer tick is the most common tick involved in spreading this disease although other ticks can pass it along also. Ticks capable of spreading Lyme Disease are most commonly found in the Eastern United States, the Upper Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. Lyme disease can affect different organs and body symptoms. Lyme disease is most common in dogs, but has been reported in other species as well. There does not appear to be any breed predisposition. Hunting or working dogs are more likely to be exposed to ticks due to the amount of time they spend outdoors. Puppies appear to be at a higher risk. Treatment of Lyme disease is individualized based on the severity of the condition and other factors that must be analyzed by your veterinarian. The treatment plan varies dependent on titers and clinical signs. The heart and kidneys will be monitored. In some cases antibiotics are prescribed for 14-21 days.
If you live in an area that is prone to ticks, it is VERY important for you to be especially vigilant and pro-active in your tick protection!! As a consumer, you have many different choices to make in administering tick protection to your dog or cat. I have been very pleased with the Seresto collar...an alternative to topicals! Chloe has had no itching issues and the BEST news is that we have found NO TICKS!!
This is NOT a sight you want to see...the engorged tick...
Go ahead and check out the Seresto Collar...we think it is much easier to use than applying topicals or taking medication. The Seresto Collar achieves 100% efficacy against fleas within 2 days of treatment and maintains efficacy above 90% for over 7 months. After day 2, 97.7 – 100% efficacy against deer ticks on dogs, and Lone Star ticks on cats was achieved for 8 months. Sign up and save $20.00 off your qualifying Seresto purchase!!
Chloe is a HAPPY girl with her spiffy Seresto Collar on!! She wants to shout it out for everyone to hear!! Can't you tell??