Why does my dog eat his ticks
Diseases transmitted to dogs by ticks
12 to 72 hours after the tick bite, the pathogens (babesia) transmitted by the alluvial forest tick destroy the red blood cells. If the infection is acute, sick dogs show a high fever 10 to 21 days after the bite, are listless and no longer eat. Later on, diarrhea and vomiting occur, followed by acute kidney failure. The urine appears brownish red because it contains the decay products of the destroyed blood cells. Since these are no longer available for transporting oxygen, the patients suffer from shortness of breath and have to cough. The heart beats faster too. Eventually the dogs lose consciousness. Some animals show a creeping course of the disease and, similar to human malaria, have repeated attacks of fever. The disease is therefore often referred to as "dog malaria". The pathogen is detected by a blood test. Because of the delayed immune response, clear evidence is not always possible. Until a few years ago, babesiosis was still considered a motion sickness. Due to increasing vacation trips with dogs in the Mediterranean area and imported dogs, the alluvial forest tick as well as the pathogens were introduced to Germany and meanwhile spread throughout Germany. Every year around 3,000 to 4,000 dogs that have never been abroad also become ill.
Borreliosis is caused by bacteria (Borrelia). The pathogens living in the tick's intestine are only activated by the blood meal after the tick bite. It can take up to 24 hours for them to penetrate the host via the puncture channel. The main carrier of the disease is the "common wooden goat". Lyme disease can cause acute joint inflammation in dogs. However, these symptoms only occur in a small proportion of the infected animals. If, after a tick infestation, general symptoms such as fever, fatigue or a decline in performance occur, or even an additional reluctance to move, lameness, emaciation or neurological deficits, a Lyme disease infection can be the cause. Direct detection of the pathogen by taking a tissue sample at the site of the tick bite or synovial fluid is then important. However, a test for the presence of antibodies against Borrelia alone is not evidence of disease.
Anaplasmosis is also transmitted by the local wood tick and is increasingly on the advance, especially in Northern Europe. The anaplasmas, unicellular blood parasites, attack part of the white blood cells. The disease can progress in several phases and extend over years. Acutely ill dogs usually have a high fever, are weak and no longer eat. Joint inflammation leads to lameness. If the acute phase is survived, there follows a time in which the animals continue to harbor the pathogens in their bodies, but appear healthy. As soon as the dog's immune system is weakened (e.g. due to other illnesses or stress), the disease breaks out again. In addition to fever and joint problems, there are sometimes heavy bleeding from the body orifices and bleeding into the outer skin and mucous membranes. The pathogen is detected by a blood test.
Early Summer Meningoencephalitis (TBE)
In contrast to humans, dogs only very rarely become ill with TBE, the viral pathogen of which the Holzbock can transmit. For a disease that causes damage to the central nervous system with meninges and / or encephalitis, additional factors such as B. an immune deficiency due to other infections / diseases. In contrast to humans, there is no special vaccine against TBE available for dogs. In principle, there is only a risk of pathogen transmission in certain regions, the so-called endemic areas. In Germany, the TBE virus occurs in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, but also in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.
Ehrlichiosis is a dog disease that is widespread in the Mediterranean countries - but has also been proven in Saarland. The pathogen, the Ehrlichia canis bacterium, is transmitted by the brown dog tick (Rhipcephalus sanguineus). It attacks the monocytes, which are also part of the white blood cells, and reaches the lymph nodes, spleen and other organs. One to two weeks after infection, the disease breaks out with recurring fever, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, bleeding, swelling of the spleen and lymph nodes and other symptoms. Later it comes to permanent anemia. German shepherds appear to be particularly susceptible to this condition.
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