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Keeping Massachusetts Pets Safe From Ticks

tick on dog

Your pets are part of your family and you would probably do whatever you could to keep them safe from any type of danger around them. One of the biggest dangers is ticks! There are a variety of different types of ticks in the Massachusetts area that pose dangerous threats to our pets and to the rest of our families as well, including the deer tick, brown dog tick, American dog tick, and the lone star tick.

Ticks attach themselves to your pets and feed on their blood. Some ticks are infected with pathogens and diseases that they can spread to pets and humans while feeding. Your pets can pick up ticks by walking through wooded areas, meadows with tall grasses, and even in your own backyard. Usually, the tick will latch on to our pets for a blood meal, but sometimes, ticks use our pets as a carrier to allow the tick to get indoors, find a human, and latch onto them instead.

Dogs can contract similar diseases that humans susceptible to, but there are some other canine specific illnesses as well:

  • Lyme disease can be transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. Typically, symptoms of this disease include joint pain, lack of appetite, fever, and lack of energy which may take months to occur. Dogs do not get the bullseye rash that humans typically as a sign of this disease.
  • Anaplasmosis or “dog fever” is also common in New England and is caused by infected deer ticks, with symptoms similar to that of Lyme disease. Symptoms of this disease may also include vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly seizures.
  • Ehrlichiosis is a more wide-spread disease and is caused by an infected brown dog tick. Symptoms include lack of appetite, weight loss, depression, runny nose, fever, labored breathing, and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be caused by an infected lone star tick, American dog tick, and the brown dog tick. This illness causes fever, joint and muscle pain, anemia, skin sores, swelling, diarrhea, and vomiting which usually occurs within the first day of the bite.
  • Babesiosis is spread by an infected American dog tick and causes anemia, dark urine, fever, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Bartonellosis is spread by an infected brown dog tick and causes fever, pain, nausea, and chills. This disease can become serious and lead to heart and liver problems.

The best way to protect your pet from tick-borne diseases is to ask your veterinarian for their recommendation of a tick preventative treatment for them. Another way to prevent ticks and tick-borne illness is by keeping your lawn trimmed and vegetation cut back from the area your pet uses frequently. If possible, avoid bringing your pets to wooded areas and tall grasses. If you do so, be sure to check them for ticks afterward.

Another solution is to take back your yard from ticks! To do that, all you need to do is call on the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions! We offer mosquito and tick control services that are highly effective in limiting the population of these pests on your property. For more information about our services, contact us at Big Blue Bug Solutions today!