Taking your dog to the vet each year is a great way to keep it healthy, and one thing your vet will recommend is keeping the dog protected from fleas and ticks. While fleas may not be as harmful as ticks, they are still annoying and problematic. Ticks, on the other hand, can be devastating to the health of a dog, because they carry a variety of diseases. If you do not keep your dog protected from fleas and ticks all year round, your dog may end up contracting one of the following illnesses from a tick.
The most common disease ticks carry and spread is Lyme disease. This disease is something that will require treatment from a vet, and it can be deadly if left untreated. Your vet may conduct a Lyme disease test each time you bring your dog there, and this test will determine if the dog has Lyme disease or not.
When a dog first gets Lyme disease, it may not have any symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, you may begin noticing symptoms, such as:
- Lack of appetite
- Sadness and depression
- Problems walking
- Difficulty breathing
If your dog tests positive for Lyme disease, the vet may treat it with medication known as doxycycline. Some vets also give antibiotics to dogs suffering from Lyme disease. You may also want to ask your vet about Lyme disease vaccinations. These can help prevent your dog from getting Lyme disease, and they are often given to dogs that test positive for the disease. With the proper treatment, a dog can usually fully recover from the disease.
A second disease transmitted by ticks to dogs is ehrlichiosis. The symptoms of this disease generally start appearing within one to three weeks after a tick bite occurs. This disease causes an infection in the body, and a dog with ehrlichiosis may have the following symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Joint pain
- Weight loss
If the dog's immune system can fight this off, the disease may go away on its own. If not, the symptoms will continue getting worse. Vets can diagnose this condition through a blood test, and they can treat it with the same medications used to treat Lyme disease. Most dogs recover from this illness, as long as they receive the proper medical care needed.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
A third disease your dog can get from a tick bite is called Rocky Mountain spotted fever. When a dog gets this condition, it may be able to fight it off without medication. If it cannot, the dog may become really ill. The symptoms of this condition include:
- Pain in the joints
Vets can also diagnose this illness with a blood test, and they can treat it with antibiotics and enrofloxacin. When a dog tests positive for this and is experiencing symptoms, the vet may require the dog to stay overnight at the clinic for at least one night. Without the proper treatment, the dog may not be able to survive the illness.
These three illnesses can be harmful to dogs, yet they are easy to contract. The only way you can prevent them is by preventing ticks from biting your dog. To do this, you can purchase flea and tick prevention from your veterinarian. This medication is something you apply to the dog's body, and it only requires applying it once each month to fully protect the dog against fleas and ticks. To learn more about flea and tick prevention and the deadly diseases they can transmit, contact a veterinarian at a clinic like Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care today.