All You Need To Know About Canine Babesiosis

I’ve covered the importance of tick prevention in the past but it looks like now it is even more important than ever, as canine babesiosis can be fatal.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like, parasitic, tick-borne disease caused by various types of Babesia, a microscopic parasite that infects red blood cells. There have recently been a number of reports of dogs in the UK diagnosed with canine babesiosis. This disease can be fatal to dogs and current cases aren’t restricted to dogs which have recently travelled abroad, so it seems like we may have a problem.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like, parasitic, tick-borne disease caused by various types of Babesia, a microscopic parasite that infects red blood cells. There have recently been a number of reports of dogs in the UK diagnosed with canine babesiosis. This disease can be fatal to dogs and current cases aren’t restricted to dogs which have recently travelled abroad, so it seems like we may have a problem.Ticks can be found anywhere your pet goes, not just the obvious high risk places such as forests, heathland, and grassy areas but also in urban playgrounds, parks and even your back garden. Therefore, it’s important to take action to protect your pet.

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors are at an increased risk of tick bites and of contracting this parasite. This is especially true in the summer months, from May through September, when tick populations are at their highest, so correct prevention is key!

To help protect your pet from ticks (and fleas), apply FRONTLINE® Spot On monthly. It kills ticks within 48 hours of contact with your treated pet, minimising the risk of tick-borne disease transmission.

I know a lot of dog owners don’t think monthly treatments are necessary, but are you really willing to take the risk?

Diagnosis of canine babesiosis can be quite challenging especially as the symptoms can vary from case to case. The severity of symptoms will depend on the species of parasite involved and on the ability of the dog’s immune system to defend against it. Symptoms may come and go as the disease runs its course and can include lack of energy, lack of appetite, weakness, fever, pale gums and tongue, orange or red-coloured urine, discoloured stool, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin. A severe infection can affect multiple organ systems including the lungs, GI tract, kidneys, and nervous system.

If your dog is acting abnormally, take it to the vet, especially if it has been exposed to ticks; ask your vet about the potential for infection with a tick-borne disease.

Remember, the health and wellbeing of your pet are in your hands, so please be a responsible pet owner and protect your furry friend.

If you want to read more about ticks in general please refer to my previous post: All you need to know about ticks and fleas.

Take care and remember to take care of your pet!

* This is a collaborative post
**FRONTLINE® Spot On contains fipronil. Legal category: AVM-GSL. ®Registered Trademark. For further prescribing information, refer to the data sheet on www.noahcompendium.co.uk or contact Merial Animal Health Ltd, CM19 5TG, UK. Use medicines responsibly.

Pet Health Diary – Ticks and Fleas

Pet Health Diary - Ticks and FleasOk, so some of you may have spotted that I have had a small break with my Pet Health Diary series but you will be pleased to note I am back. Despite the fact that I haven’t written a new part for the series for a while… well 2 months to be exactly… trust me when I say I would not neglect my pets in reality and skip their monthly health check, you have to believe me. Time to write about it later however is far less certain.

According to the plan we should talk about skin, coat and nails in this post but instead I have decided to cover ticks and fleas… again. I am saying again as last year I posted a detailed post about these creatures – All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas. This post covers a lot of information and underlined the main difference between ticks and fleas.

Today’s post was actually prompted by our recent trip to Europe.

I have to admit I have never had any serious tick problems whilst being in the UK despite regular trips to our local woodlands and of course countless fields and ponds but once we hit Europe it was a different story… within days I started to notice ticks on both Lilly and Bunk… they were ever so small… first time I notice one it was on Bunks head, the tick was tiny yet we attempted to remove it… the next day we called at the local vet. As we use FRONTLINE® Spot On regularly I was surprised to see any ticks at all… the vet set us straight. First of all the vet was very surprised that we only found few ticks as apparently there are 1000s of them around and hardly any prevention works; she also told us that if our dogs are protected we should simple leave the ticks alone as they will die. Well, as hard as it was for me to accept this new information we decided to bow down to her expert opinion and listen. Of course she was right, it worked as intended as next ticks I found where all dead and dry – just like this:

Pet Health Diary – Ticks and FleasTicks can be extremely dangerous, they can cause irritation, lead to an abscess and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. Part of being a responsible pet owner is our duty to care for our furry babies, so don’t ignore the flea and ticks problem, protect your pet. Using FRONTLINE® Spot On on a regular basis will ensure that your dog or cat is cared for and will significant reduce any chances of them becoming more seriously ill through complications.

Using FRONTLINE® Spot On  is easy but if you have never used it, you might want to watch this video:

I am working with FRONTLINE® Spot On to spread the word about the necessity of tick and flea protection for pets but I wasn’t paid to write this post; I have however been using FRONTLINE® Spot On on all our pets for several years, way before I even started blogging and I truly believe that this is the best protection I can offer for all my furry friends.

Have you ever experienced a flea or tick infestation?

What do you use as a preventive measure?

All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas

All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas

Ticks and fleas are a big problem for our four legged friends. So often I hear “Oh but my dog doesn’t have fleas, so no, I don’t use anything”. That’s just pure silly. The fact that a pet is flea or tick free today doesn’t mean it will be like this tomorrow. And believe me it is much easier to prevent the infestation than later trying to cure it.

I found a brilliant table on Cesar’s Way website, which shows the main differences between ticks and fleas – have a look.

Fleas v Ticks

Ticks crawl onto tall grass and shrubs and wait for a host to walk by. They can wait for a year without feeding. Dogs are most likely to pick up ticks while walking in the woods or high grass from spring through fall. Outdoor cats can pick up ticks the same way. Ticks are more common in warm climates. Ticks are much more dangerous for us and our pets. You can feel ticks while petting your cat or dog, and you can see them. They most often attach near the head, neck, ears, or paws. On cats, they’re typically found around the ears and eyes. Ticks can carry dangerous diseases, and it doesn’t take long for a pet to pick up the disease while a tick is feeding. If you find a tick on your pet, try to remove it as soon as possible. There is a lot of “magical” ways to remove ticks, but skip gasoline, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol, or a hot match. These methods can force infected fluids back into the bite. Instead:

  • Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
  • Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
  • Pull straight up. Don’t twist.
  • Don’t squeeze (or pop!) the bloated belly.

Wash the bite area and your hands. Mouth parts that remain rarely cause serious problems. But if you’re worried, call your vet.

Ticks can transmit many potentially deadly diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis; they cause similar symptoms in dogs, which include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint swelling or pain

These diseases can have serious complications, so prompt treatment is essential. Tick-borne diseases are uncommon in cats, but they can get a tick infection called cytauxzoonosis, which is often fatal – so do your best to keep pests off your cat and out of your home.

In addition to spreading diseases, ticks can cause other health problems in dogs, including: anemia, skin irritation or infection or tick paralysis.

Fleas are much more common problem. Fleas rarely jump from one pet to another, as is often thought. Instead cats and dogs pick them up from infested environments. This could be your garden, the local park, a friend’s house – any place where an animal that has fleas, such as a rabbit, hedgehog, fox or another cat or dog, may be found.

Most people think of fleas as a nuisance but they are much more than this. In addition to creating itchy spots they can carry diseases; the most popular being tapeworms. The worst part is that this doesn’t stop at pets; they can be transmitted into humans too.

The most obvious sign of fleas is scratching or when it comes to some cats over grooming. Fleas can jump and once in your home, you might need to treat more than just your pet 🙁

So, how to protect ourselves and our pets?

The answer is simple: use a good quality preventive product to avoid the tick and fleas in the first place.

We use Frontline Spot On; it kills fleas and ticks and controls biting lice on both cats and dogs. Frontline Spot On is Fast Acting: kills fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours; it is long lasting: kills fleas for up to 5 weeks in cats and up to 2 months in dogs as well as kills ticks for up to months in both cats and dogs; it is water resistant, which means that your pet can swim or be bathed as usual from 48 hours after application.

Thing to remember: there is a lot of different products on the market but please whatever you choose always consult with your vet before picking any tick or flea treatment. Never use your dog treatment on your cat as this can be fatal. Never think your pet is safe from ticks or fleas because it simply isn’t true.

Be a responsible pet owner and protect your furry babies!

* Source:
http://uk.frontline.com/Pages/default.aspx
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/flea3.htm
http://www.cesarsway.com/flea-and-tick-awareness/The-Differences-Between-Fleas-and-Ticks
http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-flea-and-tick-overview
http://www.purina.co.uk/content/your-cat/helping-to-keep-your-cat-healthy/regular-cat-care/cat-fleas-and-ticks
http://amicus-wet.pl/static/upload/Content/MVOL_Ticks_and_Fleas_DRUK__2__tcm115-221437.pdf
http://piesikot.waw.pl/porady-lekarza-weterynarii/zdrowie-psa-porady-lekarza-weterynarii/72-pchy-i-kleszcze