Tick Diseases or Tick Borne Diseases in Dog

Introduction-
The Tick disease or the tick borne disease is caused when the tick who is the carrier of this ailment feeds on an infected animal and passes the disease when it feeds on its next victim. It does not spread through contact so even if a normal dog comes in contact with the infected dog he is safe as it is only the ticks that are harmful. It is the lxodidae(hard bodied tick) that spreads the illness and it feeds only 3 times in its lifetime. There are four types of tick diseases-
1) Ehrlichiosis- It is commonly found in dogs and can prevent itself from being detected for a long time. This happens when the bacteria selects protein variation in the body of the host to help its survival. There are 3 stages in ehrliciosis namely-Acute stage- the symptoms can not be identified, Sub-clinical stage- there are no symptoms at all, Chronic stage- symptoms appear in such numbers as if they are taking revenge.
2) Babesia(babesiosis)- This is a red blood cells disease and causes different degrees of hemolyptic anemia. It is generally noticed in the sub-clinical stage where there are no symptoms or, in the chronic stage where it has caused maximum damage and symptoms are found in large numbers.
3) Lyme- This disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. It is passed on like any other tick disease but when it reaches its goal, it multiplies slowly making it difficult to track it down. Also, it has an unusual survival skill by escaping unfavorable conditions.
4) Rocky mountain spotted fever- It is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii. It is a seasonal disease found during the spring and the summer (March-October). This is commonly found in younger dogs and in large breeds of dogs. The disease is quick spreading one and symptoms are generally noticed within 4-5 days of being bitten and also signs of high fever can be seen.
Name of the disease and its Symptoms or Signs- It can happen that the signs are vague and not indicative of one particular disease or there can also be a possibility that no symptoms are noticed in the initial stages of the disease. The following are the signs of each tick Disease
1) Ehrlichiosis- sporadic fever, vomiting, muscle wasting, diarrhea, seizure, arthritis, kidney failure, bleeding under the skin or a rash, pneumonia, skin infections, irregular loss of appetite, etc.
2) Babesiosis- constipation, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy, sores in the mouth, irregular fever, edema, back pain, joint swellings, clotting problem, slow loss of body condition around eyes and spine, enlarged spleen, bleeding under the skin or a rash, etc.
3) Lyme- arthritis, shifting of lameness in legs, neurological damage, lack of interest in food, seizure and change in temperament of the dog, depression, stiff movements or hesitation to move at all, swollen joints and lymph nodes.
4) Rocky mountain spotted fever- loss of appetite, muscle pain, bruising on the skin and gums, swollen lymph nodes, retinal hemorrhage, swollen or painful joints, staggering walk, difficulty in keeping balance, seizures.
Treatment/ Vaccination-
1) Ehrlichiosis- Best way to cure it is by giving Doxycyline twice each day after a gap of 12 hours for about six weeks. It should not be given with anything containing calcium like milk as it will intervene with the absorption of the anti-biotic. It should be given 30 minutes after the dog has eaten something.
2) Babesiosis- The best choice is Imizol(Imidocarb Dipropinate) and is least toxic of all the anti-biotics. Side effects can be noticed within an hour of injecting it; these include nausea with vomiting, pain or irritation where it was injected, diarrhea, etc. The side effects can be reduced by injecting it subcutaneously rather than into the muscles.
3) Lyme- For treating this disease Doxycyline is administered. Like in Ehrlichiosis, it must be given after every 12 hours till 8 weeks. It must be given before, after or with the food. It is available in tablet or capsule form but, tablet appears to be the better way of giving the treatment as capsules can stick in their mouth and cause irritation.
4) Rocky mountain spotted fever- Doxycyline is the drug used.

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