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Tick-borne diseases in dogs: What are the risks for our pets, and for us?

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The bite of the paralysis tick can be fatal, but there is another hidden danger associated with tick bites, the other diseases they carry that can infect your dog. Two tick-borne diseases of dogs in Australia are babesiosis and anaplasmosis.
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The risk of ticks to dogs

Tick disease symptoms in dogs vary depending on the specific disease.

Babesiosis

Ticks can transmit babesiosis, a disease that can be fatal in dogs. This parasite invades the dog’s red blood cells, causing severe anaemia.

Symptoms of babesiosis in dogs can include weakness, lethargy, pale gums, red urine, yellowing skin and fever.

Babesiosis is transmitted to dogs from the brown dog tick, possibly the bush tick and even through dog bites. These ticks are common throughout Australia. Babesiosis is more prevalent in the subtropical and tropical northern regions of Australia, but has also been diagnosed in dogs from southeastern Australia. Dingoes can also be infected and act as a reservoir of the disease for pet dogs.

Anaplasmosis

This disease is emerging in Australia, and can cause serious health symptoms in dogs. The platelets in the blood are affected which can lead to fever, lethargy and bleeding disorders.

The ticks that spread these blood-borne diseases are found throughout Australia, and the disease risks they pose to your dogs are different depending on the region. Regular tick protection can help protect your dog from these diseases.

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Preventing tick-borne diseases in your pet

Tick-borne diseases can be difficult to treat, and early recognition and treatment is important to maintaining your pet’s health. Always consult a doctor or vet if you are concerned about a member of your family or your pet. The best way to help protect your pets from these diseases is to protect them from being bitten by ticks in the first place.

The Seresto® collar not only kills ticks but also repels them. Ticks don’t need to bite to be killed, meaning less likelihood of diseases being transmitted from ticks to your dog.

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