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  • Writer's pictureA Usha Tejaswy

Tick Fever in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Tick fever is one of the most common illnesses that occur in dogs during the summer. So, it is important that all the pet parents have adequate awareness about this condition and take utmost care of their pets during this season.

Tick fever is a dangerous tick-borne illness observed in dogs that may cause severe health complications. There are many variants of ticks, of which Brown dog tick & Deer Tick are more prevalent in India.

Ticks, what are they & why do we have to worry about them?

Ticks are small bugs or insects. These are eight-legged external parasites, which feed on the blood of animals. They mostly stay around the head, neck, ears, and paws of our canines.

Their bite causes pain, itch, irritation, fur loss, and secondary bacterial infections in pets.

Hot & humid climates are perfect breeding grounds for these bugs. So, we at Pupkitt advise pet parents to take extra care of their furry friends during summers.

How do dogs become infected with Tick fever?

Ehrlichiosis is a common and dreadful illness that occurs when a brown dog tick infected with the bacteria, Ehrlichia Canis, bites the dog.

The tick gets embedded into the dog’s body and feeds on its blood.

The anticoagulants present in the saliva keep the blood from clotting, so the tick can continue to have its fill.

Symptoms of Tick fever

The incubation time for the bacteria to multiply is around 8 to 14 days. Your dog will show symptoms post this incubation period. Here are a few symptoms to watch for:

1. High fever (up to 105 F)

2. Joint inflammation

3. Vomiting & diarrhea

4. Loss of appetite

5. Coughing & breathing difficulties

ehrlichiosis in dogs
Picture credit: The Spruce / Kelly Leigh Miller

Apart from the above, you may notice purplish-red spots near the mouth & abdominal area caused by bleeding or jaundice in chronic cases.r

Contact your nearest vet or book an online vet consultation with us to talk to our expert team of vets.

Diagnosis of Tick fever

When diagnosing your pup for Tick fever, your vet will check for signs and symptoms as listed above. Along with the physical examination, they may recommend blood tests.

Low platelet count and abnormal white blood cell count with the majority of lymphocytes are the major contributing factors that determine the presence of Tick fever.

Is tick fever contagious between dogs?

No, it is not contagious between dogs. However, it can spread if the infected tick moves from one pet to another.

How is Tick fever treated?

If the blood work and other diagnostic tests confirm that your pup has Tick fever, your vet may prescribe antibiotics and other supplements based on the severity of the case.

Some of them include Platelet boosters, Iron & Cobalt supplements, and other immunity-boosting medicines for a speedy and healthy recovery.

Our pet-friendly team at Pupkitt requests all the pet owners to restrain from any self-medication or home-remedy treatments for their pets when in doubt.

Tick fever & its prevention

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Tick fever. However, there are several treatments and products available to keep your dog tick-free.

Anti-tick shampoos: There are several anti-tick shampoos available in the market which contain medicated ingredients that kill ticks. Proper usage of these shampoos can keep ticks off your dog.

Spot-on treatments: Spot-on medicine is generally available in single-dose tubes. This liquid is applied to the pet’s skin (generally between the shoulder blades).

The medicine gradually spreads over the entire body and kills any ticks attached to the skin. These spot-on work effectively. The dosage of the spot-on is prescribed based on your dog’s body weight.

Follow this video for more information regarding Spot-on usage & its application.

Anti-tick sprays: These are simply sprayed on your dog. Make sure that the liquid nicely coats your dog’s skin. Be careful not to use them around your dog’s eyes and face.

Injectables & tablets: These oral medications are also prescribed by the veterinarian according to your dog’s body weight and age. These tablets are easy to administer and work effectively for up to a month.

Quick Tips:

  1. Frisk your dogs regularly. Check for ticks or fleas near armpits, ears, neck, paw areas – especially during the Tick season.

  2. It can take a while for the ticks to find a perfect spot on the dog’s body. Try to remove any ticks crawling on the fur - the sooner, the better.

  3. Apply Anti tick spray first and then use tweezers or any other plucking tool while manually removing the ticks from the pet body.

Can’t go out to consult a vet during the covid crisis. Worry not, our certified team is just a call away! Use our online vet consultation services with our expert team.


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