Tick Fever- Ehrlichia canis
Tick fever is a disease caused by a bacterium that resides inside of ticks. The bacterium is transferred from the tick when it takes a blood meal from your dog. The predominant tick In our region is the Brown Dog Tick or Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Unfortunately this tick is a known carrier of this bacterium.
This disease takes from 1-3 weeks to incubate, but once in the body it can be very difficult to eradicate, and can become a chronic infection.
This disease can cause a large number of issues, but most common is the tendency to bleed. It can also cause multi-joint issues, central nervous system disease and eye disease.
There is no vaccine at this time for this disease, so prevention is based solely on preventing tick bites and attachment. Traditionally we have done this with monthly topical therapies like Frontline, which have prevented attachment of ticks.
We now have some new options with the introduction of newer oral products including Nexgard which help kill ticks. Some of these products are monthly and others are used every 4 months.
Once you have a tick infestation it is important to also have an exterminator come and spray the area around your house for ticks, otherwise re-infestation is likely.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet or just need to get your pet started on prevention please call us and set up an appointment.