Tackling Ticks & Lyme Disease

by on March 31st, 2014

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Cat on toiletTicks are second only to mosquitoes throughout the world in transmitting infectious disease to humans and animals.

Although the majority of tick-borne diseases in dogs and cats are thought to be exotic to the UK, Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis are already present in the UK, both having the potential to infect not only pets but humans as well.

LYME DISEASE is a bacterial infection that is usually carried by the deer tick. Symptoms include lameness, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and an abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes. It is often treatable with antibiotics.

ANAPLASMOSIS is an infectious blood disease that attacks the white blood cells, crippling the immune system. Symptoms include fever, depression, seizures, meningitis, lameness and joint swelling, weight loss, and loss of appetite. It is treatable with antibiotics.

Tick-borne disease is an emerging illness that is often misdiagnosed due to the variety of symptoms, all of which can mimic other conditions. Whilst these symptoms are non-specific and can occur in a variety of illnesses, if your cat or dog displays any of the following warning signs, he/she may have been bitten by a tick:

• Fever
• Lameness
• Loss of appetite
• Sudden onset of pain in their legs or body
• Arthritis or swelling in your pet’s joints
• Lethargy or depression
• Cough

Contact your veterinary surgeon immediately to book an appointment.

In addition please be aware that life-threatening tick-borne diseases such as Babesiosis and Ehrlichioisis can be transmitted to pets travelling abroad, even as close to home as France, therefore regular tick treatment for travelling pets is vital! Call in for advice.

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