Lyme and Ehrlichia: The Dangers of Tick-Borne Diseases
Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis are both bacterial infections transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. These diseases are similar in that while many dogs show no symptoms of infection, those that do can experience a variety of symptoms including fever, depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, joint pain, and stiffness. If left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause kidney failure, heart issues and/or neurological issues. Similarly, dogs infected with Ehrlichiosis can experience eye issues, lameness and/or bleeding issues and anemia. Both diseases are treatable with antibiotics if identified early on. That is why it’s so important to have dogs in high-risk areas tested for tick-borne disease annually, even for dogs that are not displaying symptoms.
It’s very difficult to prevent your dog’s exposure to ticks, especially when they are outdoors in areas ticks inhabit, however routine use of tick preventatives on pets will help limit infestations. This will also help prevent pets from bringing ticks into the home, limiting exposure to family members.