Posts Tagged dogs and ticks
If you read this blog, you know that I am a huge dog lover (come on, look at that face). I make sure that my four-legged companion is fed correctly, has the right amount of exercise and gets the necessary shots and medicine to keep him strong and healthy. There are some ailments, however, that are difficult, if not impossible, to prevent and one can be caused by the dreaded tick.
I recently read an article about a dog that started displaying disturbing symptoms. An otherwise healthy dog all of a sudden started losing control of her legs. Seeing the animal get worse, it ended up being diagnosed as tick paralysis and after removing more than 4 ticks from the dog, it was able to fully recover.
Tick paralysis is a relatively common illness that mostly affects cows and sheep, but has been known to affect dogs and some humans. Tick paralysis occurs when a tick attaches and feeds for an extended period of time. A female tick causes the disease with toxins in the salivary glands. Weakness in the legs is usually the first symptom and begins 2-7 days after the tick bite. The symptoms can worsen very quickly, spreading to the trunk and head within hours, but rarely ends in death.
The treatment for tick paralysis is simple: remove the attached tick. Unlike other vector-borne diseases, tick paralysis isn’t caused by a virus or bacterium that stays in the body long after the parasite is removed. Instead, it’s a chemical reaction to the tick, so when the tick is properly removed, the symptoms fade quickly.
Although it is most common in dog and Rocky Mountain ticks, over forty species of ticks are known to cause tick paralysis. The best way to protect your animals from the dangers of ticks is to protect them as best you can. Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray, misting systems and tick tubes are a few ways to protect your property and animals against ticks (and mosquitoes of course!). All of our services aim to get mosquitoes and ticks before they have the opportunity to bite.
Tick control in your yard isn’t always enough to protect some of your pets from ticks, especially dogs that may go hiking with their owners. For example, although I protect my property from ticks, I still give my dog a topical medication because we hike and walk in wooded areas where ticks are known to be. Additionally, it’s imperative that you check your animals for ticks on a daily basis during tick season to ensure they don’t have time to attach and transmit any dangerous diseases.
If you have questions regarding any of our tick and mosquito control services, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.
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.
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.
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
- Runny eyes and nose
- Loss of appetite
- 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.
Saying I’m a dog lover is most likely an understatement. My wonderful dog, Wiley, is arguably the most spoiled dog in the greater Richmond area, maybe even Virginia. I mix his food with cut up hot dogs, he sleeps on the bed and can often be found on my lap, belly up getting a good scratch. Did I mention he’s 45 pounds and not the normal lap-dog size? What can I say? He’s my constant companion and I do my best to keep him both happy and healthy, including protecting him against and checking for ticks.
Ticks carry many diseases that can affect our pets, including Lyme disease, heartworm and ehrlichiosis. A colleague of mine sent me a great site a few weeks ago, DogsandTick.com, that teaches owners how to prevent tick bites, notice symptoms of illness and what treatments are available. I suggest every dog owner take a look.
Most dog owners apply monthly medications to prevent ticks or put a dog collar on them, unfortunately neither are 100% effective. Another way you can protect your pets and yourself from ticks (and at the same time enjoy the outdoors for longer) is with a barrier spray from Mosquito Squad.