Protecting your cat or dog (or both) against fleas and ticks is an equally substantial part of disease avoidance. There are lots of diseases that might be transmitted to your furry friend by a tick bite. Among the most frequent tick-borne ailments found from the USA have been Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Haemobartonellosis. Here we will briefly discuss these ailments which affect cats and dogs.
Also called borreliosis, the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. Deer ticks carry these bacteria, transmitting them to the animal while sucking its blood. The tick must be attached to the dog (or cat) for about 48 hours to transmit the bacteria to the animal’s bloodstream. If the tick is removed before this, the transmission will usually not occur.
Common signs of Lyme disease include lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and a reduced appetite. In severe cases, animals may develop kidney disease, heart conditions, or nervous system disorders. Oral antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. There is also a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs (although there is currently none for cats). If you live in a place where deer ticks are endemic, you will need to vaccinate your dogs annually.
Hemobartonellosis, transmitted by both insects and ticks, causes the body to attack the affected animal’s red blood cells, causing anemia and weakness. This disease affects both dogs and cats. In cats, the problem may also be known as feline infectious anemia. In dogs, the condition is usually not apparent unless the animal already has issues.
Identification of hemobartonellosis is made by testing blood samples for the organism. Oral antibiotics are used for about two weeks to treat RMSF, for which there is currently no vaccine available.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) usually occurs in dogs in the eastern, midwestern, and northeastern United States. Cats can also be infected with RMSF, although the prevalence in cats is much lower. It is transmitted along with the dog tick, and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick, and the tick must be attached to the dog or cat for five hours or more for organism transmission to occur. Oral antibiotics are used to treat RMSF for about two weeks, so there is currently no vaccine.