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Ticks are more than just creepy; they can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, hepatozoonosis, and babesiosis and no prevention is 100% effective 100% of the time. So what can you do to protect your pets and your family from tick-borne diseases?
Canine ehrlichiosis is a relatively new disease and comes in multiple forms that are often specific to different U.S. regions. The disease is caused by a type of bacteria called rickettsia, which can affect people (and cats) as well.
Canine anaplasmosis can be found throughout the United States, primarily in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central states, as well as California. Caused by a bacteria transmitted from ticks that have previously bitten host animals such as deer and rodents , anaplasmosis can cause joint pain, high fever, and more.
3. Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is transmitted by two types of ticks – the black-legged tick and the deer tick – and can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. It has also been found in every U.S. state and some Canadian provinces. Ticks are often hard to spot, making it incredibly difficult to spot a tick bite, and symptoms of Lyme disease are often difficult to detect until several months after infection.
4. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Despite its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is found throughout the U.S. and Canada, though its highest concentration is in the Rocky Mountain states, California, and the Southeast. This infection can appear suddenly, with severe illness lasting about two weeks.
This tick-borne disease is caused by a blood parasite that infects a dog’s red blood cells. Dogs can become infected when feeding ticks pass the microscopic parasites, known as Babesia, to them. Like other tick-borne diseases, symptoms are often vague and sometimes difficult to identify.
Unlike other vector-borne diseases that are transmitted by tick bite, both forms of canine hepatozoonosis are transmitted when a dog eats or otherwise ingests an infected tick. Like other tick-borne diseases, symptoms are difficult to detect, but can include loss of appetite, weight loss, and depression.