Adventures To Be Had

Summertime. Warm, humid, sometimes scorching, and definitely languorous. Occasionally breezy, lush, radiant, and exhilarating. The possibilities for adventure are endless, with days long enough to take them all in. Opportunities to experience and explore abound, and we can share them with our besties, whether they’re animal or human.

Keeping Safety In Mind

As we look forward to enjoying the possibilities the long, luxurious days hold, it’s important to keep everyone’s well-being in mind. With the rise in temperatures, we know we’re supposed to bring extra water, take breaks if we need them, and not engage in strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day. Besides concern for hydration and protection from heat-related illnesses, rising temperatures mean that ticks become more active, posing significant health risks to both pets and humans. Understanding tick-borne diseases and taking preventive measures is crucial to safeguarding your furry companions.

The Dangers Of Tick-borne Diseases

Tick-borne diseases are infections transmitted by the bites of ticks, small arachnids that feed on blood. Ticks are carriers for including bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause serious illness. Some of the most common tick-borne diseases affecting pets include:

  • Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is transmitted primarily by deer ticks. Symptoms in pets often include fever, lethargy, joint pain, and lameness. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, cardiac issues, and neurological problems.
  • Anaplasmosis: This disease is caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys. Pets infected with Anaplasmosis may exhibit symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, joint pain, coughing, diarrhea and even in loss of muscle control or the ability to move.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF):  RMSF is transmitted by various tick species. Symptoms in pets include high fever, lethargy, muscle pain, and in some cases, neurological signs. RMSF can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Babesiosis: Babesiosis attacks red blood cells, leading to symptoms in pets such as fever, lethargy, pale gums, dark-colored urine, and anemia. Severe cases can cause organ failure. Prompt veterinary diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing this potentially life-threatening infection.

Prevention and Protection

Prevention is the best medicine for tick-borne disease. Here are some effective strategies to prevent your pet from contracting one:

  • Tick preventatives: Your veterinarian can help you choose the right tick preventative, which may include topical treatments, collars, or oral medications.
  • Regular tick checks: After outdoor activities, thoroughly check your pet for ticks, paying close attention to areas like the ears, neck, and underbelly. Removing ticks promptly can prevent the transmission of pathogens.
  • Maintain your yard: Keep your yard well-maintained so you can remove leaves and tall grasses where ticks thrive.
  • Avoid specific areas: During peak tick season, avoid walking your pet in heavily wooded areas, tall grass or brush, or any area known to have a heavy tick population.
  • Use tick-repellent products: Consider using tick-repellent sprays or shampoos specifically designed for pets to add an extra layer of protection during outdoor excursions.

Cloquet Animal Hospital

Cloquet Animal Hospital in Cloquet, MN will work with you to find the best tick preventive medication for your pet so that, whatever adventures you share, your pet bestie will be protected. We want you both to have the healthiest, happiest summer possible.

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