Tick ​​disease: what are the symptoms and how to treat the dog?

In addition to fleas , other parasites can harm the health of pets. This is the case of the tick.

In addition to the discomfort caused by them in dogs, such as incessant itching, other complications can occur if there is no adequate treatment to eliminate these parasites.

This is because ticks can transmit various diseases, which are transmitted to animals through their bite.

Tick ​​disease is not actually a condition, but a name that is widely used to refer to these diseases in general.

Find out below what they are and how to prevent your pet!

What is tick disease in dogs?

Tick ​​disease (also known as hemoparasitosis ) is a generic term that covers all diseases that are transmitted by the parasite’s bite. Some species invariably transmit diseases, but there are others that need to be infected.

That is, it is necessary that it bites a sick animal and, thus, becomes a vector of infections.

There are several diseases, but the main ones are spotted fever , ehrlichiosis, lyme disease and babesiosis.

In dogs, the most well-known and frequent causes of tick disease are babesiosis and ehrlichiosis. In cats, these diseases are much rarer, but possible as well.

When infected, the animals usually show symptoms between the first and the third week.

The most characteristic ones include apathy, fever, joint pain, lack of appetite and spots that can be noticed in the abdominal region, in the ear and gums.

After this initial phase, the infected animal goes through an asymptomatic period (subclinical phase) and, without treatment, can reach the most severe stage of the disease, and may die.

For treatment and diagnosis of the exact cause, it is important to seek a veterinarian. From there, he will know how to guide you to the most appropriate procedure and with the right medications.

Which tick is dangerous?

There are different species of tick, but the most dangerous and associated with these diseases is the brown tick ( Rhipicephalus sanguineus ). This is a type of host very common in domestic dogs.

They are not common in fields and vegetation regions, but they adapt well to the places where the pet lives.

Normally, the female lays the tick eggs in baseboards, crevices, walls, kennels, wall corners or cracks in the dog’s house.

This facilitates the spread to other animals that frequent the environment.

What is the cause?

Despite its name, tick disease does not happen simply by the tick bite. The dog or any other animal affected will only become ill with the bite if the tick is a vector of other diseases, such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis.

Babesiosis, for example, is a disease caused by a protozoan called Babesia canis , responsible for causing an infection that destroys red blood cells (blood cells).

Ehrlichiosis, on the other hand, is caused by a bacterium, being an infection that damages white blood cells (blood cells).

In general, the symptoms and treatments are similar, but the causative agent varies. The tick, in this case, is causative when it has any of these microorganisms.

It is important to understand that not all types of ticks are vectors of disease. In order to be carriers of protozoa, bacteria and viruses, some need to come into contact with the disease through other hosts.

In animals or humans, it is speculated that it is necessary that the tick remains for at least 4 hours in the body to pass the disease.

Is it contagious?

Tick ​​disease is not contagious just by touching or contacting fluids, but is transmitted by the brown tick bite when infected by some microorganism (such as bacteria or protozoa).

One dog does not pass the disease to the other through direct contact. This type of transmission only occurs by blood transfusion from one animal to another, which is quite rare.

However, people who have more than one pet need to be careful. The chances of contamination are great due to the presence of contaminated ticks in the same environment.

In addition, in the subclinical phase, the dog has no symptoms, but still has the disease. If a tick bites this animal, it becomes “infectious”, and it can bite other animals and pass the disease.

What are the symptoms of tick disease?

Tick ​​disease, in general, can be divided into three stages. In each of them, the symptoms manifested are different. In the initial phase, which takes place between the first and the third week after the tick bite, the animal is in a period called by some veterinarians “parasitic sadness”.

The animal may show a very great apathy, in which it isolates itself, does not play or eat properly.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fever;
  • Joint pain;
  • Dark urine;
  • Extreme tiredness;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Eye discharge;
  • Skin spots (visible on the ear, belly and gums);
  • Enlarged spleen.

At this stage, it is visible that the dog is not healthy. However, when it is not diagnosed early, it can enter the subclinical (asymptomatic) phase.

Thus, for months or years the animal may not show such obvious symptoms of an infection.

In the chronic phase, the symptoms return. The animal may present paleness in the mucosa, anemia , drop in the number of platelets (blood component), dejection and other signs.

Is tick disease curable?

Yes , tick disease can be cured. With proper treatment, the dog or any animal that is affected will be able to recover without sequelae.

However, it is important to note that the animal does not create resistance to infection and there is no vaccine for prevention. Even if cured, he can get the disease again.

In addition, when not properly treated, the animal may continue to have the disease in an asymptomatic state and manifest the symptoms in the future, as a false cure.

In these cases, the disease can be even more aggressive, possibly leading to the death of the dog.

How to treat tick disease in animals?

The treatment of tick disease is relatively simple. The sooner it starts, the better the animal’s recovery. Therefore, it is essential that the person responsible for the bug look for a veterinarian even in the initial stage of the disease.

Usually, treatment is done with the prescription of antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs . In animals that have a more delicate immune response, the use of corticosteroids may be indicated.

The treatment time varies a lot for each case, but usually lasts up to a month.

It is important to just be careful when trying to remove the tick from the animal. It should not be removed by hand or any object that could cause part of the parasite to become trapped in the dog.

The most recommended is to apply a little petroleum jelly or own medications around the tick with drops of cotton, rubbing it carefully to make it easier to remove it from the animal.

The veterinarian, in addition to helping with treatment, can advise on the best way to rid the dog of ticks.

Doxycycline treatment

One of the most widely used drugs in the treatment of tick disease is Doxycycline , a long-acting antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections. It can be administered orally or in injections.

Read more: Flea remedy (dogs, cats): homemade, collar, pill

Do you have home treatment to eliminate ticks?

There are many homemade recipes used to help treat the presence of ticks in animals. For this, some people use natural oils, apple cider vinegar and teas to scare away parasites.

With a cotton ball, they pass these recipes on the animal’s skin to help end the problem. However, it is important to note that these are not practices that should be done without the advice of a veterinarian.

The use of any product or recipe can end up causing some allergy or more serious complications in the animal.

In addition, home treatments to get rid of ticks do not treat or prevent diseases caused by the infected parasite.

Is it possible to prevent?

Prevention occurs through the indication of medications and products that help in the control of ticks, such as collars, sprays, ointments and oral medications.

Another fundamental measure is to make the environment free of these parasites, performing an adequate cleaning and, eventually, seeking to perform a pest control with specialized professionals.

Usually, these animals proliferate in hot, humid places. Therefore, if it is an environment where pets are present and that are within these conditions, it is important to inspect these possible hiding places and prevent them.

Tick ​​disease catches in humans?

Although not the most common, humans are not immune to tick-borne diseases.

Being in a risky environment, with the presence of infected animals, there is the possibility of transmission through the tick bite.

To prevent it, it is important to be aware of the signs that the pet shows, keep the environment clean and safe.


Pets are not immune to disease, you need to pay attention to the signs and symptoms they manifest.

Tick ​​disease can be serious and lead the animal to death, so it is important to take preventive care and take the animal to the veterinarian when identifying the presence of ticks or noticing some of the symptoms of the disease.

Thanks for reading and keep getting informed about health and well-being by Hickey solution!

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