Dogs love to run, play, and walk-in parks and open areas. However, even though we love to see our four-legged friends having fun outdoors, we must take some precautions to ensure that they do not get tick disease.
Very common in summer, if not treated well, this disease can result in serious consequences. With that in mind, we’ve separated some important information about the problem.
Know the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of tick disease, as well as what to do to protect your best friend!
What is tick disease?
Tick disease is actually the common name for two diseases transmitted by the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The first, called ehrlichiosis, occurs when the bacteria Erhliquia canis enter the pet’s bloodstream. The second, babesiosis, is caused by the protozoan Babesia Canis.
The two happen in a very similar way: the agents attack the body’s defense cells and affect important organs such as the lungs, kidneys, and liver. If contaminated, the dog can have problems and even end up dying.
That means, if you find a tick on your friend, keep an eye out! In case of changes, do not hesitate to take him to the vet immediately.
Tick disease symptoms
Tick disease has two stages: the first is called acute. When it is in more advanced stages, it is known as chronic. Usually, from 8 to 20 days after contagion, it is already possible to notice some signs on the pet’s body.
The following are the main symptoms of acute tick disease :
- Petechiae (red dots in places like the abdomen, gums, and eyes);
- Bleeding from the nose, urine, or feces;
- Weight loss.
Symptoms progress as the disease progresses.
Thus, when it reaches the chronic stage, symptoms can be more severe and easier to notice, such as:
- Red eyes;
When you notice any signs of change in your pet’s health, seek a specialist immediately! Only a veterinarian will know how to identify and adopt the best treatment. In addition, the sooner the diagnosis is made, the smoother the treatment will be.
Tick disease: treatment and diagnosis
A very important step in the diagnosis of tick disease is the conversation with the tutor. In this process, the veterinarian should try to know where the dog has walked, what his house is like if he has traveled to the field, and other places where he can have contact with the tick.
With this suspicion, the veterinarian will be able to order a complete blood count to find out the general picture of your friend’s health status. In case of changes, it is possible that he will request more specific tests to confirm the tick disease and treatment.
The treatment is done with antibiotics that will fight the causative agent of the disease and can last from 15 to 30 days, always conducted by a veterinarian.
In more severe cases, a blood transfusion may be needed to help the dog recover. In these cases, the pet must be hospitalized and have constant monitoring by professionals.
“It is worth remembering that tick disease is a zoonosis and that both Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis have already been detected in humans,” says Petz’s veterinarian, Dr. Thiago Franco.
Tick disease: prevention
The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid contact with the tick. For this, a tip is to avoid areas where these ectoparasites are known to be present and always make use of products against fleas and ticks on the pet.
“Bathing with special products and using collars against parasites is a great option”, recalls Dr. Thiago. “Cleaning the external areas with products against fleas and ticks is also important”, adds the doctor.
At Petz, in addition to the best veterinary clinics, you can also find prophylaxis products, such as collars and medicines. Look for the nearest unit and seek our professionals to ensure that your pet will have the best treatment available!