Warning Beware of Ticks.

Pennsylvania is the home of Lyme disease, and most of our residents are well aware of the risks of ticks. Did you know that our pets are subject to tick-borne illnesses as well? Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital wants to be sure that you know all about the risks and options for tick prevention for your pet.

Tick-Borne Illnesses in Pets

Tick-borne diseases are serious business. Various bacterial organisms carried in the tick’s digestive tract can cause chronic infections with symptoms that may wax and wane. 

Besides Lyme disease, we know that ticks can also carry Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. 

Symptoms of tick-borne diseases can be vague, including:

  • Fevers
  • General depression
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Pain (especially in joints)
  • Swelling in joints
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Many disease conditions may result in similar symptoms, so diagnostics are necessary. Let us know right away if you have concerns about your pet. In addition routine screening for tick-borne diseases is recommended. 

If exposure to tick-borne disease is detected, treatment is often a simple course of antibiotics. If left untreated, though, these illnesses may have much more serious consequences. 

Tick Prevention

Prevention of tick-borne illnesses where possible is key. While treatment for these infections is possible, our staff would rather your pet stay healthy!

There are a few tips to help improve your tick prevention strategies:

  • Avoid ticks when you can: Ticks are most active in the spring through fall (although no time of year is entirely safe). They are found in wooded areas and tall grasses where deer are often found. Making efforts to avoid these areas during high tick season when possible can be helpful.
  • Use a preventive: We have many safe and effective options available to force ticks to detach from your pet before many tick borne diseases can be transmitted. Our team is happy to discuss which one might be right for your pet.  
  • Pay attention: Tick-borne disease transmission takes several hours to occur, so pay close attention to your pet and groom them after outdoor adventures. Examine your dog’s ears, armpits, and under tail area after spending time in a potentially tick-infested area. Learn how to properly remove a tick from your pet and you are set.
  • Consider vaccination: If your pet is at high risk for Lyme disease exposure, we recommend vaccination. Pets who have been vaccinated carry extra protection against this potentially devastating disease.

Life in Pennsylvania is pretty good, but the ticks are definitely not one of the perks. Tick-borne diseases in your pets are a real risk but together we can keep everyone happy and healthy