Tick Transmitted Diseases In Pets

Ticks can be found in most climates, although they are most often found in wooded, damp and grassy areas…..basically ALL of Cape May County!

There are 3 kinds of ticks in New Jersey that spread disease to both humans and pets, the black-legged "deer" tick, American dog tick, and lone star tick.

Photo Credit: www.visitmonmouth.com

You'll want to check your pet for ticks after they spend time outdoors, especially during warmer months (April - September). Along with the areas mentioned in the picture below, you'll also want to check your dog's lips and gums.

Photo Credit: www.cdc.gov

Some tick bites are harmless, but others can cause skin damage, irritation, hypersensitivity and anemia. Signs of tick borne disease may not appear for 7-21 days after a tick bite, so watch your pet closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.

The most common diseases transmitted by tick bites are Lyme disease, tick-borne fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If left untreated, these diseases can cause severe health problems that can be fatal. The following are warning signs that your dog or cat may have a tick-borne disease.

Lyme Disease symptoms:

• arthritis

• lameness

• depression

• loss of appetite

Tick-borne fever symptoms:

• weakness

• cough

• labored breathing

• fatigue

• discharge from the nose or eyes

Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms:

(Symptoms are similar to those of tick-borne fever.)

• loss of appetite

• lameness

• lethargy

• vomiting

• depression

• diarrhea

• feverish

Remove ticks with tweezers or with a special “tick remover,” never with your hands.

If you remove any of the ticks from your pet, save them in a bottle or baggie, your veterinarian may want to examine them in order to determine what type of ticks they were.

Contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination and a blood test if you believe that your pet has been infected by a tick.

The proper way to remove a tick with tweezers:

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