Pet Care

Tick Fever

Tick Fever (Ehrlichiosis) is a disease that is transmitted by an infected tick to a dog or human. Dogs do not transmit Tick Fever to humans. Symptoms begin 7-20 days after getting bitten and the disease destroys red and sometimes white blood cells and platelets. In the first phase of the disease - the acute phase - symptoms may include listlessness poor appetite, fever, cough and discharge coming from the eyes or nose. Unless treated, the dog may then enter a sub-clinical stage that can last for the rest of the dog's life with no visible signs. Or the dog may go on to the chronic phase and have all the same symptoms as in the acute face symptoms as well as nosebleeds, other abnormal bleeding, swelling of the legs and weight loss. The acute phase is usually successfully treated with the drugs in the Tetracycline family, while the chronic phase is harder to treat and may involve blood transfusions and antibiotic treatments. The chronic phase can lead to death.



This dog has tick fever.

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some things you can do to protect your dog against Tick Fever.

  • Regularly use a good tick control treatment like Frontline on your dog.
  • Check your dog carefully after it has been outside, and frequently if it is an outdoor dog.
  • Be especially vigilant about examining a dog with a thick coat as ticks may borrow down and not be visible unless the fur is parted. There is also a school of thought that German Shepherd dogs and Dobermans are more susceptible to tick fever.
  • If you find ticks remove them carefully with a pair of tweezers and shampoo your dog with a tick shampoo.
  • When you take your dog to the vet for his annual vaccine, ask the vet to do a tick test.
  • Do not walk your dog in any areas where livestock grazes.
  • Make sure his vaccinations and wormings are up-to-date as a healthy dog has a strong immune system can fight the disease better.
  • Tick fever can reoccur, so even if your dog has already had it, do not stop preventative measures.
  • Keep your yard clean - remove any trash that ticks can hide it.
  • Mow your lawn and cut tall grass frequently as ticks love to hide in tall grass.
  • If you suspect that you have ticks, either get something to spray your yard with from an Agriculture Center or Pet Shop or call in a Pest Control Company to do a more professional job. Make sure and ask what precautin you should take to keep your animals safe from the insecticides that are being used.