Eeewwww, ’Tis the Tick Season
When I roll over for a belly rub, my human a) always obliges (it would be rude not to!) b) inspects me rather closely in my ‘armpits’, nethers (down there) and neck especially. It’s very nice, but there is a more icky reason for this and that is Ticks.
Every Spring and Autumn they are prevalent, but this year, following a mild winter they are absolutely everywhere. I am being checked after every walk, especially when we have walked in a deer park or near fields of sheep as it is here you are mostly likely to find them.
Ticks don’t fly, they drop onto me as I brush past long grasses or climb up my legs. Once they are on, they will attach themselves by biting my skin and start to feast on my blood. Yuck. Not only that but they carry horrible diseases. The most commonly know is Lyme Disease which can cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, swollen and painful joints, fever, swollen lymph nodes and lameness. Humans can catch Lyme Disease from ticks too and makes them very very poorly.
A less well known disease called Babesiosis which is also caught from ticks and was only first diagnosed in March 2016. It is It is very rare, but one of our kind sadly died from it last year, the first dog to have done.
The incubation period is about two weeks, but diagnosis of the disease can be months or years later. How scary is that!
Symptoms caused by Babesiosis include depression, pale gums, a swollen abdomen and a fever. You may lose your appetite and skin may develop a yellowing.
To protect you from this, your human needs to give you a regular dose of a tick treatment. This either repels them or kills them if they latch on. Spot on treatments, tablets and collars are the most effective methods, so if you haven’t already, you need to get your human on the case.
If your human is worried, they need to take you to the vet (sorry!). Better to be safe than sorry.