Ticks Carry Diseases That Affect Dogs

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Lyme disease is one of several diseases a dog can get from tick bites. Ticks can also carry other disease known as canine ehrlichiosis, canine anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  These diseases are often mistaken for other conditions that affect dogs and cannot be accurately diagnosed unless you take your dog to the veterinarian.  Tick bites are hard to find on a dog.  Tick disease signs may not appear for 21 days after a tick bite and sometimes it takes longer.

Lyme disease is called by Bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi and sometimes Lyme disease is hard to determine in dogs.    The signs of Lyme disease can be similar to the signs for other diseases that affect dogs and they can come and go.      Cases of Lyme disease can vary from mild to severe.  Kidney failure has been known to happen in very severe cases of Lyme disease in dogs.

The most common signs of Lyme disease are recurrent arthritis and lameness that will last 3 to 4 days.  Sometime it is accompanied by loss of appetite and depression.  The dog can be reluctant to move or have a stiff and painful gait.  They can have swollen joints that are warm to the touch. The dog can have pain in his legs and sometimes his whole body is affected.   The dog can have a fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.

Lyme disease is found all over but it is worse in the northeastern, mid- Atlantic and north-central states and it is also found in California.

Canine ehrlichiosis is caused by the bacterium Ehrlichia canis and Erlicha ewingii.  These bacterium are spread by the lone star tick and the brown tick.  I sometime takes awhile for warning signs to show up.  If left untreated this disease could become a chronic infection without clinical signs and can last for days, months or years.

 The most common signs of canine ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlicha Canis are depression, loss of appetite, fever, runny eyes and nose, swollen lymph glands, sudden nose bleeds, bruising on gums and belly, lameness and joint pain.

The most common signs of canine ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia ewingii are lethargy, anorexia, fever, lameness, stiffness and painful joints.

Canine ehrlichiosis is sometimes referred to as dog fever or dog tick fever.  Canine anaplasmosis is caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum or is transmitted by the deer tick which also carries Lyme disease.

The most common signs of anaplasmosis are arthritis stiffness with painful joints, high fever, accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. There may also be seizures and neck pain.

Canine anaplasmosis is found throughout the United States, primarily in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and north central sites as well as California.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever in dogs is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii and is spread by the American dog tick, the wood tick and the lone star tick.  The disease usually lasts about two weeks in dogs and severe cases can cause death. Fever, skin lesions, stiffness when walking and neurological abnormalities are the most common signs that your dog may have Rocky Mountain spotted fever.   Rocky Mountain spotted fever is found mainly in the Rocky Mountain States, California and the Southeast.

If your dog shows any signs he is not feeling well take him to the veterinarian to be on the safe side.  This is very important if you have taken your dog to the mountains or areas where ticks may be found.

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