Is your pet suddenly lame when you have seen no indication of trauma? Have you recently removed ticks from your pet or are you late on your tick treatment this month? Has your dog had any abnormal bleeding or are his joints swollen or painful? Then you may want to consider the possibility that your dog could be suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).
Has your dog suddenly developed an anemia or lameness? Have you had a problem controlling ticks this summer? Then your pet may be suffering from an infection called anaplasmosis.
In the United States, Lyme Borreliosis is the most commonly-reported tick-transmitted disease in humans. Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi which is a spirochete (corkscrew-shaped bacteria) that is transmitted by various Ixodes ticks. Lyme disease is also seen in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.
A disease first described in a California ground squirrel around 1913, tularemia is also known as "rabbit" or "deerfly fever". The disease is caused by a gram-negative bacterium by the name of "Francisella tularensis". The bacterial septicemia may affect over 50 different species of wild and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and even man.
Heartwater or Cowdriosis is a disease of cattle, sheep, goats and wild ruminants endemic to Sub-Sahara Africa, Madagascar, and portions of the Caribbean such as Antigua and Guadeloupe. Heartwater is caused by obligate intracellular rickettsial organisms that parasitize macrophages (a type of white blood cell). After initially replicating in macrophages, the organism will move to the vascular endothelium where it undergoes additional replication.
Canine Ehrlichiosis is also known as tropical canine pancytopenia, canine typhus, canine hemorrhagic fever, idiopathic hemorrhagic syndrome, Nairobi bleeding disorder, canine rickettsiosis, and tracker dog disease. Ehrlichiosis is caused by obligate intracellular rickettsial organisms that parasitize thrombocytes (the precursor of platelets) of the animal affected. Platelets are important in the function of blood clotting.
Ticks in North America may cause an acute flaccid paralysis. Engorged female ticks are believed to secrete a neurotoxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine and thereby causes a paralysis of skeletal muscles. Acetylcholine is a necessary neurotransmitter for skeletal muscle contraction. When acetylchole is absent, the result is loss of motor control. This paralysis begins in the hind legs and will progress to the front end of the patient within 24 - 48 hours and is therefore termed an ascending paralysis.
Babesia canis is an intracellular protozoan parasite that affects red blood cells (erythrocytes) of the dog. There are 73 identified species of which two infect dogs. These parasites are all spread by ticks, usually of the Ixodid family which are also known as hard ticks. Babesia species are typically host specific, indicating that they will not infect more than one vertebrate species. Babesia gibsoni and Babesia canis are the two species that generally infect dogs.
Ticks are essentially large mites that are covered with a leathery integument. A tick’s sole purpose is sucking blood from mammals, birds and reptiles, and then reproducing to provide the next generation. Ticks are not insects, but arachnids. An adult will have eight legs and three body segments. As arachnids, ticks are related to spiders, chiggers, scorpions and mites.