Ticks and Lyme Disease

tick2As groomers through the summer months we see a lot of dogs in our care that have picked up ticks.  Usually in our area the ticks fall off sheep attach to the grass then when the dog walks through they attach to the dog and feed off the blood.  Particularly on heavy coated breeds these are near impossible to see innless you are really parting the coat and looking at the skin a great detail, which is what we are doing.  Our policy is not to remove the tick, as it is so important that this is done correctly, as if they are just pulled out the head may be left in and diseases can occur such as lyme disease.  We advice buying a special tick remover or seeking veterinary attention.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is spread by slow feeding, hard shelled deer ticks. In dogs the disease is known as canine Borreliosis.  Ticks become infected by bacteria and when they bite your dog they spread the infection. 

The main feature of this disease in dogs is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. Some dogs may also develop kidney problems, however up to 95% of dogs infected with the bacteria will not show any symptoms.

  • Symptoms associated with Lyme disease include:
  • Stiff walk with an arched back
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever, lack of appetite, and depression
  • Superficial lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
  • Heart abnormalities are reported, but rare; they include complete heart block
  • Nervous system complications (rare)

tick1If the vet diagnoses your dog with Lyme disease it will most likely be treated with antibiotics. It is important that you keep your dog warm and dry and you will need to control its activity until the clinical signs have improved. If possible, avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested environments (woods and bushes).

In addition to grooming your dog daily and removing the ticks with a special tick remover, your vet can recommend a variety of sprays, collars, and spot-on topical products to kill and repel ticks (some can accomplish this naturally). Such products should only be used under a vet's supervision and only according to the directions.

In our nose to tail health check we will check for ticks and advise you should anything be found.

 

 

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Email: kate@cottagecaninegrooming.co.uk