Ticks are a significant annoyance to humans and their pets in Minneapolis. There are 13 known species of ticks in Minnesota. We typically only encounter three, the blacklegged tick (deer tick), American dog tick (wood tick) and the brown dog tick. While that seems like a relief, these three ticks are carriers of dangerous tick-borne diseases, threatening humans and dogs alike. Lyme disease in humans is widely talked about, but did you know your dog can get Lyme disease too? Dogs can also be infected with Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis.
Lyme Disease in Dogs
While there are a plethora of symptoms for Lyme disease in humans, dogs rarely show symptoms. In fact, 90-95% of cases are asymptomatic. If your dog should happen to become ill from Lyme disease symptoms may include a shifting lameness in their legs due to coming and going of inflammation in their joints, depression, sensitivity to touch, stiff walk with an arched back, lack of appetite or fever. The risk for dogs comes when Lyme disease affects their kidneys. If your dog begins to show a lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst or weight loss it could be a sign of kidney failure. If you suspect your dog has become infected with Lyme disease, call your veterinarian as a course of antibiotics could lead to a full recovery. Read more about Lyme disease in dogs.
Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Like Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis in dogs is also transmitted by the deer tick. Sign of infection can include joint pain and stiffness, high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and in rare cases neurological symptoms such as seizures and neck pain. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect Anaplasmosis. Your veterinarian will do some bloodwork and if Anaplasmosis is suspected they will likely prescribe an antibiotic, which in most cases leads to a full recovery. Read more about Anaplasmosis in dogs.
Babesiosis in Dogs
Babesiosis in dogs is quite different from other tick-borne diseases in that it is a parasite rather than a bacteria. The parasite is transmitted to your dog by an infected wood tick. Infected dogs may show symptoms such as fever, lack of appetite, depression, pale complexion, anemia or a bounding pulse. Your dog should see the veterinarian immediately for testing if you suspect Babesiosis. Treatment with anti-parasite medicines can resolve symptoms, but the infection itself may not be eliminated. Dogs with Babesiosis can be considered permanent carriers of the parasite. Read more about Babesiosis in dogs.
Prevention is the Best Protection Against Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
Dogs are “man’s best friend” for a reason. They provide love, affection and companionships. For many of us, our dog was our first “child” and will always be treated as a family member. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s advice for topical tick control treatment and lower your dog’s risk for infection from tick-borne diseases by limiting the number of ticks in your yard. Be sure to follow the 6 C’s of tick control and invest in professional tick control services for your Wayzata or Woodbury property from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. Our tick treatment can eliminate 85-90% of the ticks in your yard. Call today.