Tick Diseases in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

Tick Diseases in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

The importance of deworming dogs both internally and externally is not only emphasized for hygienic and/or aesthetic reasons. Deworming our animals also plays an incredibly important role in avoiding parasites in dogs, such as ticks. Tick-borne disease in dogs can be incredibly dangerous and should be prevented at all costs.

Keep reading here at AnimalWised and discover everything you need to know about the most common tick diseases in dogs. Not only will we be discussing each disease individually, but we’ll also include the best and most effective ways of prevention and treatment.

Tick-borne diseases in dogs

Ticks are hematophagous parasites, which means that they feed on blood. Not only do ticks bite dogs, but they anchor themselves in a dog’s skin for hours, until they have completely filled up with blood. During this time, tick-borne diseases are transferred by infected ticks.

Some ticks also carry tick paralysis, which is caused by a neurotoxin produced within a tick’s salivary glands. Symptoms of tick paralysis include muscle weakness, vomiting, paresis, increase in blood pressure and paralysis.

In order to fully understand the importance of establishing and maintaining an adequate deworming schedule, we suggest that all dog carers educate themselves about the dangers of tick-borne diseases in dogs.

Tick diseases in dogs

The most common tick-borne diseases in dogs include:

  • Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs
  • Anaplasmosis in dogs
  • Ehrlichiosis in dogs
  • Babesiosis in dogs
  • Lyme disease in dogs
  • Hepatozoonosis in dogs

In general, all of these above mentioned diseases are serious and can have potentially fatal consequences. Symptoms of these diseases are often nonspecific, which we will discuss in more detail in the following section. Any of these symptoms are reason enough for veterinary consultation.

For more, we recommend reading our article,‘‘Can a dog die from ticks?’’

Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs

Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs is caused by the infectious basterium Rickettsia rickettsii, which are parasites the size of bacteria that live inside cells. This tick-borne disease is zoonosis which means that it is transmissible to humans.

Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs symptoms include apathy, fever, anorexia, coughing, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems, leg joint and muscle inflammation and pain, an unsteady gait, seizures,arrhythmias

In extremely serious cases, rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs can cause hemorrhaging and blood in the urine and stool.

Anaplasmosis in dogs

Anaplasmosis in dogs is a tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria of the anaplasma genus, which are parasites that live inside blood cells. Anaplasmosis is a zoonosis disease and carries non-specific symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, anorexia, lameness, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, convulsions, anemia, enlarged lymph nodes, pale mucous membranes, cough, uveitis, edema, etc.

For more, we recommend reading how to identify and eliminate ticks on dogs.

Canine ehrlichiosis

Also known as canine rickettsiosis, Ehrlichiosis is a tick disease in dogs caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia canis. This clinical picture developes in three phases:

  • The acute phase, which is characterized by fever, depression, anorexia, wheezing and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • The subclinica phase, where some dogs are be able to eliminate the infestation while others cannot.
  • Chronic phase can occur between 1-4 months after a bite. Prominent symptoms include thinning, fever, anemia, nosebleeds, joint inflammation and a neurological porblems.

For more, we recommend reading our article where we tell you everything you need to know about canine ehrlichiosis.

Babesiosis in dogs

Babesia is a protozoan that causes this tick-borne disease in dogs. Babesiosis in dogs is characterized by the appearance of hemolytic anemia, as a result of the destruction to red blood cells. If not treated in time, babesiosis in dogs can be fatal. Symptoms of babesiosis in dogs include fever, exercise intolerance, blood in the urine, jaundice or pale mucous membranes. A dog suffering from canine babesiosis may also suffer from an increase in spleen and liver size.

For more, we recommend reading our article babesiosis in dogs.

Lyme disease in dogs

Lyme disease in dogs is caused the bacterium spirochete called Borrelia burdogferi. The main symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs is a characteristic limp, joint inflammation, fever, weakness, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss and kidney problems.

Read about Lyme disease in dogs in more detail.

Hepatozoonosis in dogs

Canine hepatozoonosis is a tick-borne disease in dogs caused by two species of protozoa, Hepatozoon canis and Hepatozoon americanum. This disease is more common in animals that are already suffering from another pathology, or that carry a weak immune system. Hepatozoonosis in dogs symptoms include diarrhea (which may contain blood), bone and muscle pain, ocular or nasal secretion and/or thinning.

Tick diseases in dogs: treatment

Treatment for the above mentioned diseases are usually intensive and may include support therapy, corticosteroids to stop hemolytic anemia and antibiotics or specific drugs to fight against causative parasites. Although most of the above can be cured if treated in time, prevention is key. Hepatozoonosis, for example, can be treated with antiprotozoals but has no definite cure.

Tick-borne diseases in dogs prevention

Your veterinarian should prescribe the appropriate deworming and antiparasitic medication yearly. In addition, you should always check your dog’s skin for ticks after walks.

For more, we recommend reading our article where we list home remedies for ticks on dogs.

Tick-borne diseases in dogs: contagion

The above mentioned diseases are not transmitted among dogs. However, it’s very likely that if one dog has ticks then these parasites may also bite another animal in the same vicinity.

What tick diseases can you get from a dog tick?

So, do dog ticks affect humans? Yes, specifically if the disease is zoonosis. It is important to know, however, that a dog does not transmit the disease to people directly. It is the tick that does this. This is why we insist that prevention and control is key in making sure our dogs are not affected by ticks.

For more, read about the 9 diseases dogs can transfer to humans.

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 Tick Diseases in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Parasitic diseases category.