TICK SEASON is in FULL SWING!!!!
It’s that time of year when ticks come out. They are primarily in the trees and bushes, and can attach to us or our pets. Their only diet is blood- and they can live for a couple years waiting for that blood meal. The biggest danger from ticks is not that they drink blood – but that they pass on diseases to us and to our dogs.
There are several diseases that they can give our dogs. These include Ehrlichosis, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tick Paralysis.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is caused by a parasite called Richettsia rickettsia. The tick must be attached for a minimum of 5 hours to transmit the parasite. The disease is found on the east coast, Midwest and in the plains. The symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, depression, pain in muscles and joints, swollen lymph nodes, pneumonia and heart arrhythmias, dizziness, and seizures. Diagnosis is by a blood test, and treament is either doxycycline or minocycline.
Tick paralysis is caused by a toxin secreted by the tick when it bites. Sometimes only the hind limbs are affected, but the problem can go up the spine to the front limbs, and then the muscles for breathing. The main treatment is removal of the tick or ticks, and supportive care.
Ehrlichia is a disease caused by an organism called Ehrlichia. In the acute phase of the disease, the organism enters the white blood cells, and reproduces. It goes to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. The symptoms include fever, depression, loss of appetite, joint pain and stiffness. If not treated, the dog can go into the subclinical phase, then the chronic phase. In the chronic phase, there is weight loss, anemia, inflammation of the eye, and bleeding issues. Diagnosis is a blood test, and treament consists of doxycycline or minocycline.
Lyme disease is caused by spirochete called Borellia. The clinical signs are loss of appetite, depression, damage to kidneys, lameness and difficulty breathing. Diagnosis is by a blood test, and treatment is with doxycycline or minocycline.
As you can see, there are several diseases with some of the same symptoms that ticks can spread to our dogs. The best thing is prevention by using a tick product that works on your dog. Ask you veterinarian for the best product to use. Be sure to check your dog well after walking in the woods, or other tick infested areas. At home, find a good product to spray the trees and bushes.
Come see Dr. Glander or Dr. Reed about help with tick control on your pets.
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Our Mission …
- To provide high quality health care for all life stages of small animal pets through individual and uniquely personalized veterinary care.
- We strive to educate our client animal owners and caregivers.
- Our Charter is a continued, unprecedented level of quality medical, and surgical skills, built on traditional preventative medical practices, comprehensive lab work, emergency services, and a solid medical referral system of specialized veterinarians for the best in care for your beloved companion.
- Our hospital consistently participates in continuing education practices for all veterinarians and staff members.
- Quality, caring healthcare for the life of your pet!
13 animal emergencies that should receive immediate veterinary consultation and/or care:
1. Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop within 5 minutes
2. Choking, difficulty breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
3. Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, or blood in urine
4. Inability to urinate or pass feces(stool), or obvious pain associated with urinating or passing stool
5. Injuries to your pet’s eye(s)
6. You suspect or know your pet has eaten something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
7. Seizures and/or staggering
8. Fractured bones, severe lameness or inability to move leg(s)
9. Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety
10. Heat stress or heatstroke
11. Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than 2 episodes in a 24-hour period, or either of these combined with obvious illness or any of the other problems listed here
12. Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
The bottom line is that ANY concern about your pet’s health warrants, at minimum, a call to your veterinarian.
*Courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Lake Hickory Veterinary Hospital adheres to all local, State and Federal laws concerning health care, employment and sanitation.