Fleas and ticks are one of the biggest concerns for pet owners.. Did you know that that concern is really valid because these little pests can do more than make them itch. They can make your fur baby really sick.
Here are some diseases that can be cause by ticks:
Anaplasmosis. This bacterial infection can have symptoms that are very similar to Lyme disease:
- lack of energy.
- stop eating
- unable to stand or walk
- nosebleeds or other bleeding problems.
Babesiosis. This is when parasites destroy your dog’s red blood cells. This is a dog disease as it has not been reported in the US in cats..
- gums may be pale
- whites of their eyes may look yellow-orange
- weight loss
- nose bleeds
- avoiding food
It can take 1 to 3 weeks for symptoms to appear but can be easily treated if caught early.
This disease can be deadly. It does not come from a tick bite, like the others, this one comes from eating an infected tick or eating something that has been infected by an infected tick. Talk to your vet if your pet doesn’t want to stand or move, or seems to lack muscle strength.
People and dogs get Lyme from being bitten by an infected tick. It is highly infectious and often up to half the dog population in wooded areas will have it. Your cats are safe, as Lyme seems to leave them alone. Lyme can be difficult to diagnose as only 1 in 10 dogs will be symptomatic and require treatment. However, humans are not so lucky. So if your dog gets lyme, and is not symptamatic, you could catch it from your dog if a tick bites him and bites you.
- lameness t
These are just a few of the symptoms.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is not limited to the Rocky Mountain area and can affect dogs and people but no other animals.
- redness in the eyes
- blood in the urine or stool
- problems standing or walking.
This comes from ticks that feed on bobcats. If you have ever been out on the mesa then you know that New Mexico has bobcats! This is a disease that only affects cats. I know you dog people are saying, finally a cat disease! But take empathy because this one can be deadly to cats.
- breathing problems
- loss of appetite
- jaundice (yellowing of the gums, eyes, skin)
Your dog or cat can be allergic to fleas! They are allergic to the saliva of the flea, which gets on them when the flea drools…just kidding, fleas don’t drool. The saliva gets on them when the flea bites them. This can cause dermatitis.
- red skin
- scabby skin
- inflamed skin
- very itchy
Eating a flea can give your dog or cat tapeworms, or eating something that has tapeworm eggs on it. These nasty buggers live in your pets small intestine and eats what they eat, meaning they steels all the nutrients from what you feed your dog. Eventually your cat or dog will pass the tapeworm through their poop. Tapeworm can be passed on to people and make you very sick. Plus…gross!
Flease can trigger allergies so bad that your pet gets hair loss. Also, even just a flea bite can damage the shaft of your pets hair causing hair loss. Ever see those mangey patchy rescue dogs? Fleas are a big contributing factor on why their coats are so patchy.
Ticks and Fleas
Bartonella. This is also called cat scratch disease. It can infect both cats and dogs and spreads through fleas, ticks, sand flies, or cat scratches and bites.
- joint pain
The best treatment is prevention. Give your cat or dog a monthly Frontline Flea and Tick treatment to keep away the majority of all flea and tick issues. Also, always pay attention to your pets health and if you are concerned or see something out of the ordinary, bring them in to your Albuquerque veterinarian for a checkup.
Remember, your pet can pick up fleas and ticks anywhere, from your backyard to the park to hiking, other animals, and even your human friends. No pet is immune, get them preventative treatment.