Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

It's Not Just Lyme Disease: 2 Other Tick-Borne Illnesses In Dogs

Gisele Pereira

When most dog owners think about tick control, it's Lyme disease that they're worried about. While Lyme disease causes a range of debilitating symptoms like fatigue, stiffness, and general malaise, it is not the only tick-borne disease that dog owners should be concerned with. Here's a look at two other diseases that are also spread by ticks.


Ehrlichiosis is primarily transmitted by the brown dog tick and lone star tick, so if these varieties of ticks are prevalent in your area, you should be especially on the lookout for this disease. It is caused by several species of bacteria in the genus Ehrlichia. About 1 – 3 weeks after the dog is infected, he or she will develop symptoms like loss of appetite, stiffness, joint pain, and easy bruising. Some dogs fight off this infection at this point, but others develop chronic infections that result in long-term health issues like weight loss, anemia, excessive bleeding, and fever.

Ehrlichoisis is generally treated with several weeks of antibiotic therapy. Dogs who are treated when the primary symptoms develop have a good prognosis, but if your dog is not diagnosed until the later stages of the illness arise, he or she may never recover and may suffer from chronic symptoms of the disease indefinitely.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by a species of bacteria called Rickettsia rickettsii. It is primarily spread by the lone star tick, wood tick, and American dog tick. Dogs typically begin showing symptoms about 5 days after the tick bite. These symptoms include fever, lethargy, blood in the urine, irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination, eye inflammation, and swollen lymph nodes.

Dogs who are not diagnosed and treated promptly may die from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so it is essential to seek prompt vet care if your dog starts showing any symptoms after being bitten by a tick. Treatment usually involves giving the dog antibiotics, as well as keeping the dog hydrated through an IV drip and administering blood transfusions, if needed. Some dogs may require corticosteroid medications in order to treat the inflammation associated with the illness. Prognosis is good for dogs that receive prompt treatment. Once recovered, dogs do not suffer from long-term consequences.

Talk to a local vet, like Grove Center Veterinary Hospital, to find out which species of ticks are prevalent in your area, and to inquire whether either of these two diseases are common where you live. Then, do all that you can to protect your dog from any tick-borne illness. This includes keeping weeds in your yard trimmed to make the area less appealing to ticks and having your dog treated with a tick repellent on a regular basis.