Protect cat and dogs from ticks/fleas- Reasons, Facts and prevention’s pet experts follow

A family once owned a beautiful golden retriever. Like all healthy dogs, it loved to roam around the house, play in the lawn, but one fine morning, the family noted something unusual. The dog had lost all of its energy, it was cornered, and it refused to eat in the morning. It was not a mood off; family grew more tensed when they discovered that dog had difficulty in moving and finally the worst showed up- a seizure, the dog was immediately taken to a nearby vet.

The dog had Canine Anaplasmosis. It is commonly known as dog fever; more precisely it is the dog tick fever which is transmitted from the deer tick. The lack of appetite, stiff joints, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures were its symptoms.
This is not an isolated occurrence, and the eerie fact is some tick-borne diseases not only affect cats and dogs but even humans.

Ticks are present everywhere in the USA
Despite its omnipresence, certain states have reported more cases of tick illnesses than others. Pennsylvania and Virginia top the chart with the most number of Lyme disease cases last year.
Here are states that have a fair share of tick population, so if you are living in one of these; do keep an eye out for ticks.

Minnesota- During 2012, around 50000 cases of Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma in dogs were reported here.

New Hampshire- major parts of the land area are wild here, making it a safe harbor for tick population to expand.

Wisconsin- the state is packed with forest and fNew Hampshirearms, ideal for ticks to grow, multiply and spread infections.

New York- even though this state is densely populated and is a busy city, ticks didn’t spare pet population out here. Over 90,000 cases of Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and anaplasma in dogs were reported in past years.

Massachusetts- Unfortunately, this ideal, beautiful destination in North America to live in has seen a significant number of Lyme disease cases in recent years.

Connecticut, Maine, and New Jersey are the other states where a lot of tick-related illnesses are reported.

Here are the lists of ticks to look out for in the USA:

American Dog Tick, also known as wood tick doesn’t cause the most common illness-Lyme disease, but it is responsible for Tularaemiaand Rocky Mountain spotted fever which can be deadly. These are the most common ticks found in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and also in the southern states, especially those connected to the coastal areas.
Cats are more affected by the health crisis caused by this tick, rabbit fever otherwise referred to asTularaemia does the worst to our feline companions. They exhibit high fever, swollen lymph nodes, nasal discharge and ulcerations at and around the bitten spot. While in dogs, the same health condition is expressed with less severity in the forms of mild fever, lack of appetite and depression. This doesn’t imply dogs are safe, mild symptoms may level up to serious causality if antibiotics are not administered at the time.
Generally, American tick bites cause itching and fever. Rashes develop around the area of the bitten portion. This is the main symptom. But fortunately, this kind of tick takes at least a day to feed on the host, so if it is spotted on pet’s skin, knock it off immediately.

Lonestar Tick- Also known as Turkey tick is founded mainly in the mid-western states of US. It causes human and canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis. Not just that, these ticks can transmit numerous bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms to its hosts. In cats, these cause a serious disease called cytauxzoonosis which causes difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, coma and even death in extreme scenarios.
These ticks are found in wooded areas especially on grounds of second-growth forests. If these ticks bite humans after it feasts on cattle, it transmits alpha-gal, a sugar that causes irreversible red meat allergies in human. Imagine a life without steaks and beef burgers forever; it’s distasteful, awful! So stay away from the bite of Lonestar tick at all costs!

Black-legged Tick–this tick is responsible for Lyme disease. And it is can be spotted in all directions across the USA. Cases are reported in almost 50 states, yet Pennsylvania and Virginia had the most number of infections.
This tick affects humans and dogs, but it is uncommon in cats.

The first sign is redness in the tick bite area. Spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi gets into the bloodstream of a dog or a person it bites. Within one week, symptoms of Lyme disease can be seen in dogs.

They are:
• Fever and body pain
• Reluctance to move- it could be caused by arthritis in single or multiple joints; swollen joints and sometimes swollen lymph nodes adds its share to the pain. Numbness that often switches from one leg to another also happens.
• Loss of appetite and depression is common for this infection
The symptoms are more or less the same in humans too.

How to protect pets-dogs and cats against ticks?

Expecting ticks to go extinct or killing them all is impossible. Prevention is the only and best option.

Here are some tips to protect your pets against ticks:
• Check for ticks every day in the evening. This has to be compulsory if the dog spends more time outdoor.
• Lawns must be well maintained. Ensure the gardens are weed-free.
• Use dog boots, dog socks
• If infections are reported in the neighborhood or otherwise too, contact a vet to know about tropical or systematic tick-control treatments
• Don’t skip regular check-up with your vet. Experts recommend vet test for tick-borne diseases at least once a year.
For more tips or products related to pet care and prevention, call Statewide Service Center anytime. Phone: 405.239.2806, Toll free: 800.475.7297.

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