Archive for category Ehrlichiosis

Dogs and cats can get lyme disease too – know the signs

At first glance, this picture sets a gorgeous scene of a beautiful white stallion grazing in a large pasture while deer assemble peacefully at the other end of the pasture. At second glance, it looks like the deer are staking out the horse.

3 deer and white horse

At second glance, it looks like these deer are stalking this horse and the horse is looking for escape.

I almost feel guilty that I’ve become so jaded about deer. I took this other picture of an adorable baby deer and unconsciously labeled it Bambi has ticks.

Bambi has ticks

Even baby deer can be breeding grounds for disease carrying ticks

Unfortunately for deer, they are not only the feeding ground for ticks that could carry Lyme Disease but they also now have the bad rap of the animals that spread these disease carrying blood suckers into our yards to seek their next blood meal from the furry and non-furry warm-blooded family members that hang out in and around our house.

So do the deer give the Lyme disease to the ticks or do the ticks give the Lyme disease to the deer? It’s the ticks that carry the Lyme disease and they get it by feeding on mice at earlier stages of their lifespan. The ticks then feed on deer for their blood meal and while they’re there they mate and lay hundreds or thousands of eggs that the deer are an unwitting vehicle for.

Back to our pets. Yes, our pets can and do get Lyme Disease. In addition to Lyme Disease, your dog can also get Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis. And, unfortunately, according to dogsandticks.com our dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come in contact with disease-carrying ticks because of  their furry coats, proximity to the ground and love of exploration.

What are the symptoms to watch for? Also according to dogsandticks.com, here are the symptoms to look for.

To watch out for Canine Lyme Disease, watch for…

  • Recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 3–4 days, sometimes accompanied by loss of appetite and depression
  • Reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
  • Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
  • Pain in the legs or throughout the body
  • Fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes

To watch out for Canine Ehrlichiosis

  • Fever
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Eye disease
  • Retinal bleeding
  • Spontaneous nose bleeds
  • Bruising (petechiae) on gums and belly
  • Swelling of limbs

If your dog is displaying these symptoms, how long should you wait before consulting a veterinarian? As an experienced dog owner, you probably know that some of these symptoms will come and go over time. But early treatment is the best way to prevent long-term ongoing residual sickness from these diseases. As always, use your best judgment as an owner.

Here is a great article about lyme disease, tick feeding and life cycles and other in-depth information.

The best way to protect you, your family, and your pets is to protect your yard from ticks. Mosquito Squad has both a barrier spray program that kills ticks in your yard as well as a tick tube program that attacks the source of the problem.

Read this article about Tick Tubes and how they work.

For more information, contact a Mosquito Squad location near you.

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Tick tubes: what are they and how do they work?

Ticks feed on mice. Infected mice = infected ticks. Infected ticks carry disease and transmit them to humans. These diseases can include Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever – just to name a few.

Are all mice infected with disease? No. But we won’t ever know which ones are so we need a solution to kill ticks at the larval and nymph stages of their lives where they do their blood meal feeding on animals before they do their blood meal feeding on you, your family, and your pets.

This is how large a tick tube is

This is how large a tick tube is

Mosquito Squad offers a solution called Tick Tubes. They are environmentally friendly using cardboard and cotton. Our Mosquito Squad outdoor bug, mosquito and tick control specialists are trained to place these tubes in the places most amenable to mouse nesting.

These areas include wooded areas, brush and underbrush, gardens, along rock walls, in wood piles, under decks and sheds, and along foundations and fence lines to name just a few. Every yard is different so mice will nest in different areas in your yard.

How does a tick tube work?

The environmentally friendly tube contains cotton that is treated with a tick-killing chemical. The mouse forages for nesting materials and takes the cotton back to its nest. This reduces the source of the tick population by eliminating ticks at their larval and nymphal stages – before they ever spread out through your yard to bite people and pets. The tubes are precision-targeted to kill ticks and can result in up to a 10-fold reduction of exposure to ticks in the treated area.

The tubes are safe for you and your family. They are EPA registered and made right here in the United States.

How many tick tubes do you need for your yard?

It’s best to employ an expert tick control specialist to treat your yard. Mosquito Squad has locations across the middle and Eastern United States that are trained to treat your yard for ticks and other insects but here’s the gist of it. Only part of your yard is suitable for a mouse habitat so we need to figure out what percentage that is. You may have a full-acre yard but only half of your yard is suitable as a mouse habitat because the other area is taken up by the house, driveway, other paved areas, etc. For a half-acre of treatable area, we would use about 24 tubes for each treatment and two treatments are required in order to control the ticks at both the nymphal and larval stages.

Another thing to think about as it relates to employing a specialist to treat your yard for ticks is that the precise areas where mice hang out are the same areas where snakes reside. Let the specialist dig around in those areas and keep yourself safe in more ways than one.

Click on this link to find a mosquito squad tick tube specialist location near you.

Or go to the Mosquito Squad web site to learn more about tick control.

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Tick-borne diseases in the United States

Ticks carry lots of diseases also. As urban sprawl continues, we come in closer and closer contact with deer and mice that carry ticks that could be infected with tick-borne diseases. Ticks carry a lot more than just Lyme Disease

According to the CDC, here are some of the other diseases that can be carried by ticks in the United States.

  • Anaplasmosis is transmitted from the blacklegged tick  in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick along the Pacific coast. Symptoms> headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches
  • Babesiosis is transmitted by the blacklegged tick found primarily in the eastern United States. Symptoms> fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue.
  • Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the lone star tick found primarily in the south central and eastern parts of the U.S. Symptoms> fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion, occasionally rash
  • Rickettsiosis is carried by the Gulf Coast tick. Symptoms> fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by several ticks – the American dog tick Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. Symptoms> fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, lack of appetite, severe headache
  • STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
  • Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
  • Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick, the wood tick, and the lone star tick. It occurs throughout the U.S.
  • 364D Rickettsiosis is transmitted by the Pacific Coast tick. This is a new disease that has been found in California.

As you can see, most of the symptoms are the symptoms you might see when you have the flu. Going into cold and flu season, experts advise watching prolonged persistence of these symptoms and be aware of some good ways to avoid coming in contact with ticks.

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