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Dangers for four-legged pets: the 5 most common tick-borne diseases

Although ticks are mostly associated with the warm season, it’s important to be vigilant: they start to bite when the air temperature rises to 3 degrees Celsius. It is advisable to make sure your pets have anti-tick products in time, otherwise the attacks of these dangerous arachnids can be very disastrous. A tick may not transmit any disease, but knowing the symptoms of tick-borne diseases will help you to start treating your pet in time. So, which tick-borne diseases are most commonly diagnosed in pets?


Babesiosis – is one of the most common tick-borne diseases.This parasitic disease is transmitted by ticks of the family Ixodidae, which also transmit the infection to their offspring. Babesiosis is most commonly diagnosed in dogs, but the disease is also dangerous for cats. Signs of Babesiosis can appear after just a few days or after several months – in the latter case, pet owners may not even suspect that the symptoms are related to a tick bite. The pet’s body temperature may rise to 41-42 degrees, and remain there for approximately 2-3 days. A weakened pulse and labored breathing are also observed. The pet becomes tired quickly, its movements become uncoordinated, and loss of appetite is noted. Babesiosis patients suffer from digestive disturbances – one day the pet may have diarrhoea and the next day it may become constipated and the urine colour becomes darker. Symptoms of the disease can last from a few weeks to several months and, if proper treatment is not given, internal organs may be damaged and the pet may die. Animals with babesiosis remain carriers of the disease for life and should not be bred, nor should they become blood donors.


Ehrlichiosis is usually diagnosed together with babesiosis. Ehrlichiosis usually affects animals older than 8 years of age, which are immunocompromised. This tick-borne disease affects the lymph nodes, spleen and liver. The pet becomes sluggish, inedible and may vomit. If the stage of ehrlichiosis is acute, lesions on the pet’s nose and eyes may be noticeable. The acute stage may resolve spontaneously after a few weeks, but delay is not recommended and a veterinarian should be contacted if any unusual symptoms are observed. If the stage of ehrlichiosis is chronic, the signs of the disease may appear after a few months or even later. The pet may become listless and its weight may decrease rapidly. If the immune system is relatively strong, the disease may pass without any treatment.


Anaplasmosis is more commonly diagnosed in dogs than in cats. The incubation period of this disease is only a few days, so symptoms are noticed quite quickly. The animal may have pain in the joints and neck, and convulsions may start. Some infected pets may suffer from digestive problems and breathing difficulties. Most often, infected animals become lethargic and lethargic, but the symptoms are not very pronounced. In acute cases of anaplasmosis, the pet’s temperature may rise to 41 degrees.

Borreliosis (Lyme disease)

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease that is dangerous to mammals and birds. The causative agent of borreliosis enters the body if a tick has been in the body for more than 48 hours. Borelliosis is most often contracted in young dogs, with joint inflammation, high body temperature, rapid weight loss and possible kidney damage. Diagnosis of borreliosis is quite difficult, so if your pet has been bitten by a tick, keep an eye on how it feels and contact your vet if you notice any changes.


It is common to think that tick-borne encephalitis is only dangerous for humans, but this is not entirely true. Although very rare, tick-borne encephalitis can also be dangerous for dogs. Unfortunately, there are no typical symptoms to warn you that your dog is not infected with tick-borne encephalitis.

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