Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick and the lone star tick. In dogs, Rocky Mountain spotted fever appears suddenly with severe illness lasting about two weeks. If not treated early enough, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can result in death. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets.
What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
While people infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever are likely to develop a visible rash, dogs do not. Common symptoms of canine Rocky Mountain spotted fever include: Arthritis-like stiffness when walking
Swollen joints Muscle pain and weakness
Bull’s eye lesion
Where is Rocky Mountain spotted fever found? Despite the geographic implications of its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Areas with the highest concentrations are the eight Rocky Mountain states, California and the Southeast.
Babesiosis Symptoms and Signs Whatis Babesiosis?
Babesiosis is an infection caused by a malaria-like parasite, also called a “piroplasm,” that infects red blood cells. Babesia microti is believed to be the most common piroplasm infecting humans, pets but scientists have identified over twenty piroplasms carried by ticks. Ticks may carry only Babesia or they may be infected with both Babesia and Lyme spirochetes. People can also get babesiosis from a contaminated blood transfusion.
What are the symptoms of Babesiosis?
Loss of appetite
How to Check for and Remove Ticks
Checking for ticks
Check your dog for ticks every day, especially during tick season: spring, summer and fall, or year-round in warmer climates. Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Be sure to check between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head, too. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there. A tick that has embedded itself in your dog will vary in size, something from the size of a pinhead to a grape depending on how long its been attached. Ticks are usually black or dark brown in color but will turn a grayish-white after feeding in what’s referred to as an engorged state.
Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation because it’s easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in your dog’s skin if done improperly. Follow the removal steps below or consider bringing your dog to a veterinarian who can safely perform the task and, possibly, show you how it’s done. Infection can occur after 24 hours, so if you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away. Always wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from possible injury or infection.
1. Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
2. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.
3. After removal, clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
Following these steps can help ensure the successful removal of ticks. Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish or other products to remove a tick. Doing so can harm your dog and may cause an embedded tick to release more disease-carrying saliva. Also, if you do find ticks on your dog, your entire family could be at risk of exposure. You should take measures to keep everyone in your household safe.
What are Tick-borne Diseases?
Tick-borne diseases are spread between animals through the bite of an infected tick. Dogs and cats, and even humans tend to be susceptible to these diseases. Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that latch and feed on animals through their saliva and as a result transmit diseases.
These parasites belong to the arthropod family and are quite easy to recognize – flat and round and attached at the head to your pet’s skin. They live in low bushes, shrubs, lawn and tall grass – the very places that your pet likes to pass through.
Ticks have a life cycle of approximately three months and experience 4 stages – from egg to larva, from larva to nymph and nymph to adult. If left untreated, tick-borne diseases can cause serious health complications and sometimes even be fatal.
In addition to Lyme disease, ticks also carry Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Babesiosis and others. There’s simply no way for pet owners to tell if a tick is carrying disease or not, and it only takes one tick bite to infect your dog. Also, some ticks are known to carry more than one of these diseases, which can lead to multiple infections, or co infection. What’s common among all vector-borne disease, however, is that symptoms can be vague and difficult to recognize. Often many pet owners don’t know their dog is suffering from a debilitating tick disease until it’s too late.
Humans and other non-canine family members can also become infected with the same tick-borne diseases as dogs. These cross-species diseases are known as zoonotic. So, if you live in an area with ticks or if you’ve ever found a tick on your dog, you should also be sure to check yourself and your family.
Types of Tick-borne Illnesses
Around The House
If you live in an area with known tick populations, there are steps you can take around the house to reduce the risk of vector-borne disease for your entire family. In order to keep your lawn and outdoor play areas safe, start by keeping shrubs and grass closely clipped and clean up any leaves or debris to limit any potential tick habitat. You should also limit how many shrubs or plants you include around play and leisure areas—your dog’s walk or kennel, your children’s swing set, outdoor dining area, etc.
With regard to wildlife, the common deer is an essential part of the life cycle for ticks and the diseases they carry. And deer love to eat certain types of plants and shrubs, so when planning your garden or landscaping, be sure you’re not ringing the dinner bell and attracting them to your yard. You can also use special deer fencing to keep deer off your property.
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Several broad-spectrum antibiotics are available to treat vector-borne disease and are generally effective, especially in the early stages of the disease. Response to antibiotics is typically seen within 3–5 days. Be sure to follow the treatment plan recommended by your veterinarian, including preventive, and continue to have your dog(s) screened at annual checkups.
Natural remedies Natural remedies also provide a gentler alternative to support your pet’s immune system, eliminate toxins and maintain overall health and well-being. These remedies have proven to be safe and effective without the harsh side effects of strong and toxic chemicals. Since I went with my 3 year old Golden Retriever through Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever I strongly recommend (for any tick borne disease) using Oreganol, NinXiaRed, canine Essiak, antioxidants, probiotics, Co Q10, Omega 3, digestive enzymes, Curamin, Genacol and few more alternatives, which had helped my dog survive the very long misdiagnosed disease. He was suffering 7 months before the doctors found out was the cause of his joint problems and bleeding and other severe symptoms. He is my testimony and a miracle survivor with natural treatments , also a proof that this disease is curable.
Tips to Prevent Tick-borne Illnesses
There are several things that you can do to prevent and control tick-borne diseases and these include:
Feed your pet high quality commercial food or an all natural diet that contains the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients Provide fresh, clean water for your pet to avoid dehydration and flush out toxins Use tweezers or a tick-removing device to remove the tick and grab it as close to the head. Apply firm but gentle pressure and pull the tick out of the skin Check your pet frequently for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested area Always wear gloves when removing a tick as they transmit diseases
Keep your pets away from environments or areas with tall grass or low brushes that may inhabit ticks Disinfect your pet’s food and water bowls as well as sleeping environment regularly Remove ticks by spraying, bathing, dipping, powdering with a tick-repellant Detox your pet regularly to get rid of unwanted toxins
Use topical spot-on products and certain tick collars such as Frontline, Preventic and Preventic Plus as recommended by your vet Never use the same tick products for your dog as you would for your cat Essential Oils are an amazing addition to your pet care regiment. As a mom to 2 dogs ( Golden Retrievers) having non toxic alternatives to commercial pet care products and medication is vitally important to me.
CAUTION: Please note that I ONLY recommend Young Living Essential Oils for these recipes. Other essential oil brands are adulterated and can contain toxic substances that are incredibly dangerous to dogs and especially to cats.
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-Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It typically affects humans and dogs, although cats may also be affected. Lyme disease cannot be spread directly to people by infected dogs
-Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii. It commonly transmitted by the Lone Star tick, Deer tick, American dog tick, Pacific Coast tick and Rocky Mountain tick. This tick-borne disease occurs during spring and summer
-Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease of the white blood cells caused by bacteria rickettsia. It affects dogs and cats as well as humans. This disease is common in Africa, United States and Europe.
-Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease that attacks the red blood cells caused by the parasite, Babesia. This disease is common in Europe, Africa and Asia. It can be fatal.
-Anaplasmosis - Canine anaplasmosis comes in two forms. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an infection of the white blood cells that’s transmitted by the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick. These are the same ticks that transmit Lyme disease, which increases the risk of coinfection with anaplasmamosis. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets.
Diagnosing Tick-borne Illnesses
The diagnosis of tick-borne diseases are based on the symptoms and performing certain tests. Tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) to detect the presence of antibodies will be performed to confirm the diagnosis of tick-borne diseases. Don’t be left in the dark about vector-borne disease! While Lyme disease is well known, it certainly isn’t the only disease that dogs—or people—can contract from ticks.
What is Lyme Disease?
Transmitted by the deer tick (often referred to as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick, Lyme disease is an infection of the tissues that often leads to lameness. Lyme disease is zootoxic and can be very serious for both people and pets. In general, symptoms in dogs are difficult to detect and may not appear until several months after infection. Also, symptoms may come and go and can mimic other health conditions. Cases vary from mild to severe with severe cases sometimes resulting in kidney failure and death.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
While a “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the tick bite is common with human Lyme disease infection, dogs have no such indicator. In fact, a dog infected with Lyme disease may show few if any signs, but some of the more common symptoms of this disease can include any of the following:
Spontaneous and shifting leg lameness that lasts 3–4 days
Reluctance to move
Swollen and painful joints
Hemorrhages under the skin
Enlarged lymph nodes
Where is Lyme disease found?
Lyme disease has been found throughout the United States and Canada, but infections are most frequently diagnosed in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central states, as well as in California.
What is canine ehrlichiosis?
Canine ehrlichiosis comes in multiple forms that are often specific to different U.S. regions. Ehrlichia canis is transmitted by the brown dog tick; Ehrlichia ewingii and Ehrlichia chaffeensis are transmitted by the lone star tick. Like Lyme disease in dogs, symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis may not be obvious. If left untreated, these diseases could progress to a chronic (persistent) infection, which can last days, months or years without showing any symptoms.
Ehrlichia ewingii and Ehrlichia chaffeensis are also zoonotic diseases, which means they can infect people as well as pets. These diseases are particularly dangerous for young children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems. What are the symptoms of Ehrlichia canis [ur-lik-ee-ah cane-es]? Ehrlichia canis is an infection of white blood cells that can eventually affect bone marrow function, including production of blood cells.
Common symptoms can include any of the following:
Depression and/or lack of energy
Loss of appetite
Runny eyes and nose/discharge Spontaneous nose bleeds
Bruising on gums and belly
What are the symptoms of Ehrlichia ewingii [ur-lik-ee-ah ee-u-ing-i]?
Ehrlichia ewingii is an infection of the blood cells that can lead to joint pain and lameness. Common symptoms can include any of the following:
Loss of appetite
LethargySpontaneous and shifting leg lameness, reluctance to move
Whatt are the symptoms of Ehrlichia chaffeensis [ur-lik-ee-ah chaf-ee-n-sis]
Ehrlichia chaffeensis affects white blood cells but rarely causes clinical disease in dogs. The infection poses a greater risk to human health and is known as human
monocytotropic ehrlichiosis. Where is canine ehrlichiosis found?
Different strains of canine ehrlichiosis are found throughout the United States and Canada. The highest concentration of Ehrlichia canis cases is reported in southwestern and Gulf Coast regions of the United States. The distribution and number of Ehrlichia ewingii and Ehrlichia chaffeensis cases are on the rise and can be found in states as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as central Oklahoma and Kansas.
What is canine anaplasmosis?
Canine anaplasmosis comes in twoforms. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an infection of the white blood cells that’s transmitted by the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick. These are the same tic ks that transmit Lyme disease, which increases the risk of coinfection with anaplasmamosis. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets.
The other form, Anaplasma platys, is an infection of the blood platelets that can lead to bleeding disorders and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Although these two forms of anaplasmosis present with different signs, both pose a threat to your dog’s health.
What are the symptoms of Anaplasma phagocytophilum ?
Similar to other vector-borne diseases, symptoms of Anaplasma phagocytophilum are often vague and nonspecific. Common signs can include any of the following:
Loss of appetite
Lethargy Lameness, reluctance to move
Neck pain or neurologic signs in some cases
What are the symptoms of Anaplasma platys [an-uh-plaz-ma plat-us]?
Symptoms of Anaplasma platys are often very difficult for pet owners to detect or identify as infection.
Common signs can include any of the following:
Bruising on the gums and belly
Where is canine anaplasmosis found?
Both forms of canine anaplasmosis are found throughout the United States and Canada, wherever there are deer, western -legged and brown dog ticks. Areas where canine anaplasmosis are more common include the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central states, as well as California. A. platys, specifically, is more common in Gulf Coast and southwestern states.
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