Tick Talk


Regional Prevalence of Tick-borne Disease

Distribution of tick-borne disease is associated with the species of tick endemic to a given region. Distribution of tick species, prevalence of ticks within a region and the prevalence of infectious pathogens they carry is not stable and fluctuates on a seasonal basis depending on weather, rainfall and climate. For this reason monitoring of tick-borne disease is a dynamic, ongoing process.

Keep Your Dog Safe from Tick-borne Disease

  • Learn about the ticks and diseases in your area.
  • Use preventives, including topical medication and tick collars. Be aware that tick preventatives do not prevent disease transmission; they reduce risk by reducing the tick burden in the dog’s environment.
  • Most common symptoms: depression, lack of appetite and energy, shifting leg lameness, fever, inflammation, spontaneous bruising.
  • If your dog spends time outdoors, check him daily for ticks. Pay close attention to the head, ears, shoulders, and upper leg areas.
  • Remove ticks immediately upon finding them, using tweezers to safely pull the tick from the dog’s skin. Avoid squeezing the tick to prevent transfer of the tick’s bodily fluids.
  • Never spray human tick repellent on your dog as these chemicals are toxic if ingested.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about annual testing for tick-borne disease. Testing is fast, effective, and can save costly veterinary bills of disease is not caught in its early stages.
  • If your dog displays symptoms of tick-borne disease he may test negative at first. This is because most tests measure for the presence of antibodies against the pathogen, and antibodies take time to reach measurable levels in the blood. For that reason your veterinarian my test twice using an initial “acute” sample followed by a “convalescent” sample two weeks later. Alternately, discuss the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing for the pathogens themselves.

Listen to a free podcast on Tick-borne Disease

Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, a specialist in internal medicine and infectious disease at North Carolina State University has received funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation for various infectious diseases including Bartonella spp. In this podcast, Dr. Breitschwerdt describes several common tick borne illness, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. Dr. Breitschwerdt also shares the symptoms to watch for and what treatments are available.Species of Ticks That Carry Infectious Pathogens.
Listen to the podcast >>>

Species of Ticks That Carry Infectious Pathogens


For a longer, more detailed look at ticks and tick-borne disease, please refer to our whitepaper.


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