Ticks are arachnids that can spread a number of disease-causing pathogens. Tick-borne diseases can stick with victims for life. Americans should be familiar enough with ticks and the health issues they cause by now, but surprisingly, not everyone is aware of the fact that ticks pose a significant threat to people’s pets, mainly dogs and cats. If your pet were to become infected with a tick-borne disease following a tick-bite, you would likely be devastated. In addition to being devastated, you could also become infected yourself, as one single tick can give birth to several tick offspring before dying. Some types of tick-borne diseases are more suited to animals than they are to humans. Typically, pets infected with tick-borne disease are not given much attention in the media, but residents of one county in Georgia are becoming increasingly concerned about pets that may have become infected with tick-borne disease.
Not long ago, a resident of Jones County posted a Facebook message to the public that described the dangers that ticks pose to pets and other animals. This message was read by numerous residents in the county, and it succeeded in raising awareness concerning the risk that ticks pose to pets. The post described how the author’s pet cat may soon succumb to the deadly effects of a tick-borne disease known as bobcat fever. Bobcat fever is a common tick-borne disease that infects cats. A cat will become infected after a tick that had fed on a bobcat’s blood proceeds to feed on a cat’s blood. In this case, the tick acquires pathogens from a bobcat before transmitting them into a domesticated cat’s bloodstream. The pathogens damage red blood cells.
According to one veterinarian, Dr. Debbie Gadd, from Jones County, deadly tick-borne diseases in animals have spiked this year in her home county. Dr. Gadd and her associates have verified that more animals are becoming infected with tick-borne disease in Jones County this year due to several factors, mainly the humidity. For dogs, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most common tick-borne disease, and cats are most often infected with Cytaux. Gadd stresses the importance of early treatment, as pets can almost always be saved if the illness is spotted in time.
Do you worry about your pet contracting a tick-borne disease?