Like many parts of the world, summer in the Ozarks brings out the ticks. That’s why I keep my Sheltie on prescribed tick preventative and check her daily checks after walks. Still, nothing’s 100% effective when it comes to repelling these blood-sucking critters. That’s why, when Sasha showed signs of lethargy and her now-and-then limp became more pronounced, I had her tested for tick-borne disease. Sure enough, she tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She’s begun a regime of antibiotics, which wreaks havoc with her digestive track. I’m happy to report we seem to be through the worst of it and she’s responding well to treatment.
This graphic, courtesy of Dogs Naturally magazine, shows the different ticks that transmit this disease:
Ticks, flies, fleas, sand flies, and mosquitoes are all parasites that can transmit what’s known as “Companion Vector Borne Diseases.” Go here to see an interactive map that provides a global perspective of disease occurrence diseases by type of parasite. You can narrow your search by country or state, as well. This site, by the way, also includes general information about ticks and preventative measures.
Here’s a graphic courtesy of The Dogington Post, which highlights places you’ll want to check. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
The AKC’s Canine Health Foundation is another helpful resource. Learn all you can, and be prepared!