It's Tick Season!


Don't be complacent: take precautions

After last summer's good rains and warm weather, and the current hot weather, we are in for a very active tick season. In some areas it is always tick season.

For your dog this this means a very high risk for contracting Biliary and/or Ehrlichiosis. Biliary fever is the acute and fast progressing infection of the dog's red blood cells by a protozoa (Babesia canis, a single-celled parasite) that destroys the cells and causes severe anemia. If not treated in time, it is deadly. Biliary is among the most prevalent causes of death of dogs in South Africa. Symptoms include listlessness, poor appetite, pale to white gums and mucous membranes of the eyes, laboured and fast breath, and fast heartbeat, together with a high temperature.
Babesiacanis f91beBabesia canis. This is what the vet is looking for in a dog's blood sample. Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial (Ehlichia canis) infection that may have a short acute phase, some flare-ups, but is generally chronic in nature and leads to the dog's slow demise over a number of years. It may be relatively difficult to diagnose without laboratory tests, and since the dog seldom presents as acutely ill, the disease is often left to progress. There is a single known antibiotic that is effective against this disease and the treatment can be protracted.
Ehrlichia canisEhrlichia canis. Source: Studyblue.


Prevention

Obtain a tick (and flea) remedy from your local vet. There have been cases where certain remedies do not work in certain areas. Your local vet is best equipped to advise you. Apply the remedy as prescribed and do not skip a month or even a week.

Do not apply the remedy and forget about it. You will need to inspect your dog for ticks regularly to ensure that the remedy is working as expected. If you find ticks on your dog in spite of the remedy, it is time to ask your vet for an alternative.

Remember: It only takes one bite - don't let it be your dog
tokara
Breeder of South African Boerboels with sound temperament
 
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