Can ticks carry disease?
The simple answer is yes! Over half of dog owners are not aware that ticks can transmit deadly diseases to both humans and other dogs.
Ticks are referred to as a vector for transmission of diseases, meaning they carry micro-organisms that cause disease in not only animals but humans too! These diseases will be transmitted when the ticks feed.
What diseases can be transmitted?
Lyme disease – this is an inflammatory condition that when left untreated can become severe. It is called by a bacterium and humans are at risk of getting this disease too. The most commonly seen symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs will be a lesion around the site of the bite, lameness and high temperature.
Erlichiosis – this is a disease affecting an animal’s white blood cells caused by a type of bacterium called Rickettsia. This is also a condition that affects humans as well as dogs. The symptoms in dogs may include anorexia, weight loss, stiffness, fever and prolonged bleeding. This is not commonly seen in the UK, however may be seen if a pet has traveled to Europe, USA or South Africa where it is more common.
Babesiosis – this is a condition that affects the red blood cells caused by babesia. It can also be seen in humans however is extremely rare. In dogs, the symptoms can include anorexia, fever, anaemia, weakness and darker coloured urine. It is also a condition not commonly seen in the UK, however may again be seen if a pet have recently travelled to Europe, Africa or Asia where it is more commonly seen.