Unfortunately, most of us have become all too familiar with ticks. The incidence of tick bites is on the rise, and as a result there has been an increase in tick-borne diseases affecting our pets.
A tick’s life cycle includes the egg and three life-stages, with each stage requiring a blood meal for further development. This blood meal is where our pets come into play. Ticks are vectors to many different types of diseases, with transmission possible after a tick has been attached for at least 16-24 hours. Some of the most important tick-borne diseases in our pets are outlined below.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by the Deer tick. This infection can cause lameness, decreased appetite, and a fever. In severe or untreated cases, the kidneys can become infected causing kidney failure. There is a vaccine available for protection against infection.
Anaplasmosis is another bacterial infection spread by the Deer tick and Brown Dog tick. The bacteria infects the bone marrow and can cause low platelets and sometimes anemia. Infected animals can present with bruising, decreased appetite, lethargy, lameness, and a high fever.
Fortunately, there are means available for protecting our pets from these tick-borne diseases. At Guilford Veterinary Hospital (Guilford, CT), we offer a multitude of options to suite your pets needs for protection, including oral preventatives such as Nexgard and Bravecto. Also, remember to use preventatives year-round as ticks can become active if the ground temperature is above 45-degrees!