Parasitic diseases

Can a Dog Die from Ticks?

Graham Harper
By Graham Harper, Journalist specialized in animal welfare. June 29, 2017
Can a Dog Die from Ticks?

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Do you want your dog to enjoy the best quality of life possible? Then you should know that giving your time and attention is essential to achieve this. Through thorough observation you can tell when your dog is not well or suffering from an infestation of parasites - which, can be very dangerous.

This is the case of ticks, external parasites that can affect not only our pets but also us. There are approximately 800 species of ticks but all of them are hematophagous. That is, they feed on the blood of the organism to which they have parasitized. Did you know that a dog can die from ticks? In this AnimalWised article we will explain everything you should know about this vital subject.

You may also be interested in: Tick Diseases in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment
  1. Ticks CAN kill your dog
  2. The most serious diseases ticks can transmit
  3. Prevention is key

Ticks CAN kill your dog

Ticks have great potential to act as vectors. Meaning, they are parasites capable of holding other pathogens which are transmitted to the parasitized body and cause diseases.

When temperatures rise and our dog goes outside, especially in natural environments with vegetation, they enter an environment infested by these parasites. Therefore, ticks can climb onto the animal to feed, piercing the skin of our dog with their highly specialized oral tool.

If tick infestation is notorious, they can cause weakness, anemia, progressive weight loss, and even death from bleeding. But, unfortunately only one tick is enough to transmit a life-threatening disease. Ticks can cause the death of your dog because of the diseases they transmit. These diseases can also affect you.

Can a Dog Die from Ticks? - Ticks CAN kill your dog

The most serious diseases ticks can transmit

In this section we are going to talk about the diseases that ticks can transmit to dogs. An early detection of these diseases may predict a good prognosis, because if the tick has not yet been anchored, it may have not transmitted any disease. On the contrary, failure to be detected early could lead to death.

  • Canine Borreliosis: More popularly known as Lyme disease, this is a pathology caused by a bacterium that mainly causes fever and joint disorders. In more advanced stages of the disease, there is involvement of the kidneys and inflammation of the heart muscle, which can lead to death.
  • Hepatozoonosis: This disease is caused by a protozoan called Hepatozoon canis. It especially affects young dogs, elderly dogs or those who have weak immune system. The tick that transmits it is the Rhipicephalus sanguineous.
  • Babesiosis: This is a parasitic disease caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia and that especially affects dogs. The most typical symptoms of babesiosis are fever, weakness, weight loss, restlessness and severe anemia. If it is not treated in time it can cause death.
  • Ehrlichiosis: It is caused by the bacterium Ehrlichia spp and is only carried by Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks.

While we have emphasized how important it is to warn these diseases in time, preventing the presence of ticks is even more crucial.

You should also know that if you find a tick in your dog it is not worth removing it anyway. As the oral device could be stuck in your pet's skin, the risk of disease transmission would continue. You must use a specific clamp for ticks, which will allow the complete extraction of the parasite.

Prevention is key

At present there are products that are very easy to use (usually pipettes or collars ) that are able to repel the main species of ticks that parasite the dogs. These products have a combination of highly effective acaricides and insecticides and are not harmful to our pets if we use them properly. In addition, they come in different dosages depending on the weight of the dog.

The tick pipettes offer protection for about 4 weeks and we should take care not to bathe the dog within 24 hours after the application. Learn everything you need to know on deworming dogs in AnimalWised.

Can a Dog Die from Ticks? - Prevention is key

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can a Dog Die from Ticks?, we recommend you visit our Parasitic diseases category.

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Can a Dog Die from Ticks?