Posts Tagged ehrlichiosis

Getting Your Pet Ready for Spring

It's not a post about pets without a picture of Wiley. This big-earred pup can't wait for spring!

It’s not a post about pets without a picture of Wiley. This big-earred pup can’t wait for spring!

Warm spring weather is (hopefully) just around the corner. That means it’s time to move it outdoors and enjoy it! From hiking and walking to trips to the dog park, my furry friend, Wiley, and I spend as much time as we can outdoors when it is nice out. The warm weather doesn’t just bring green grass and flowers, however, it also means biting bugs that can harm people and dogs and cats, like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Just like humans, our beloved pets are at risk for vector-borne disease.

Fleas are one of the easier pests when it comes to determining their presence. Both dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva and will scratch and chew when they have fleas. And just one flea can bite nearly 350 times in one day! While it is uncommon, fleas can transmit disease to dogs, cats and humans alike.

When it comes to ticks, your pet isn’t going to let you know that it has one because it doesn’t make them itch as much as flea bites. They may not look like they are being harmed or bothered by anything, but that may not be the case. Ticks transmit Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis dogs. There is even an illnesses called tick paralysis that can harm our four-legged friends.

When it comes to protecting your pets from flea and ticks, it’s about controlling the pests and being vigilant. Talk to your veterinarian about topical medications or collars. Additionally, there are flea and tick treatments for your yard that will help. At Mosquito Squad, our traditional barrier spray eliminates adult ticks on contact. We also have additional applications we use to combat ticks more aggressively as well as fleas. Even when your pet is protected with medication or yard treatments, they should be checked after spending time in areas where ticks and fleas are known to be. For example, Wiley had topical treatments, but still had ticks last year after hiking. If your dog or cat has a tick, remove it using tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it is needed for testing. If they have fleas, they will need a flea bath and you will need to check to see if your home needs to be sprayed.

When it comes to mosquitoes, they transmit one of the most dangerous vector-borne diseases for some animals: heartworm.  The roundworm travels to the heart where it matures and grows. If it isn’t treated, heartworm can be fatal. It is highly recommended that animals take a heartworm medication. It should be prescribed after a heartworm test has been done on the animal.

Symptoms of canine heartworm are coughing, not wanting to exercise, fainting and a rapid heartbeat. Feline heartworm symptoms include coughing, vomiting and depression.

Professional mosquito control will also help protect your pets from heartworm by cutting down on your property’s mosquito population. The mosquito spray that we utilize eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to 21 days.

If you have questions on how to protect your pets from vector-borne disease, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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The Lone Star tick moves into the spotlight

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Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad-kills mosquitoes and ticks dead!

In the pursuit of tick control and  helping homeowners avoid tick-borne illness and disease Mosquito Squad takes heed to another tick moving  into the spotlight. The Lone Star tick  (Amblyomma americanum), also known as the seed tick can be found as far north as Maine all the way down into Texas. The tick is found in wooded areas such as forests and other areas with dense vegetation. The population of the Lone Star tick is quickly rising along with the areas it is being found in. The CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and prevention) has reported an increase in the distribution, range and abundance of this tick over the past 20-30 years.

The Lone Star tick gets its name from the predominant white spot located on the back of the female, also known as a “lone star”. Even though the females are easily recognizable from this distinguishable characteristic, identification can prove difficult because the Lone Star tick feeds off humans and other animals such as pets during all three life cycles, larva, nymph and adult. During the nymph stage the Lone Star tick is comparable in size to a mite. The tiny size of the tick during this stage can result in victims not being aware they have been bitten at all until problems begin to arise.

Small tick on finger

Small ticks such as the Lone Star tick during nymph stage are hard to see and identify

Lone Star ticks are known carriers of diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. A newer disease associated with the Lone Star has come into the forefront called STARI,( Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness), which mimics symptoms usually seen with the onset of early  Lyme Disease. These include a rash, or expanding red “bulls eye” lesion that develops around the site of the bite itself. This is accompanied by fatigue, headaches, fever, and joint and muscle pain. Even though STARI has not been linked to any arthritic, neurological or other chronic symptoms it is still an uncomfortable and scary undertaking to experience. STARI is easily treatable with oral antibiotics, and symptoms resolve promptly following treatment.

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Mosquito Squad can treat your property to kill and prevent ticks, even in dense and wooded areas

Avoidance of  wooded and densely brushy areas is key to prevention of tick-borne illness. Checking yourself and your pets after each encounter with  any wooded areas is a must. Keeping your property trimmed and free of brush piles or clippings is a good preventative measure as well as having your property treated for ticks by a licensed professional. A licensed professional can go over what tick control program is best to suited to the circumstances and individual traits of your property. Barrier sprays such as the ones used here at Mosquito Squad are an effective weapon in tick control as well our use of the Damminix tick tubes.

camoticktubes by Damminix

Damminix tick tubes

Damminix tick tubes are an innovative and effective solution to tick control. These tick tubes are filled with Permethrin treated cotton balls which are used by small animals such as mice as nesting materials.  Since the deer tick and other ticks feed off the mice in large numbers, the ticks are exposed to the Permethrin and are killed at the source. The Damminix tick tubes cause no harm to mice or other mammals during this process and have proved highly beneficial to tick control in areas all over the country.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad uses Damminix tick tubes as well as a barrier spray which kills adult ticks on contact. Contact Mosquito Squad to find out more about tick control and ways to prevent ticks and tick-borne illness in your neck of the woods. Call us at 877-667-7823 or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com   to find out more.

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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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Protect Your Pets from Tick-Borne Diseases

Wiley, doing what he does best, running

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.

Click here for some easy tick prevention tips from DogsandTicks.com

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