Does my pet have tick bite fever?

Ticks pose as much a risk to our pets as they do to us. While you may not roll in the ground all that often, your dog probably does, increasing their chances of getting bitten.

Biliary is a very common cause of deaths in dogs in South Africa. It is more commonly know as Tick Bite Fever by most pet owners. The ticks that prey on your pet are mainly the yellow dog tick (Haemaphysalis elliptica) and the kennel tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

Symptoms your dog may have tick bite fever?

Fever, pale or yellow gums, listlessness and decreased appetite, vomiting and a red discoloration of the urine.
In severe cases seizures can also be observed.

What to do?

If you think your dog has tick bite fever disease (because of these symptoms or because you saw a tick/tick bite on him) then you want to take him to the veterinarian immediately for blood tests.

If your dog is affected, daily re-evaluation is needed to monitor for any signs of complications. Most cases would however benefit from hospitalisation and intensive treatment and monitoring. Your dog will need a course of antibiotics subscribed by your vet. Keep your pet warm, dry, and calm for a period of a month as the antibiotics work through the body.

How to prevent it?

Prevention is better than cure – Monthly flea and tick medicine (all year round) is a great way to prevent ticks from even biting your dog. You can also keep your dog away from tick-infested areas, and groom daily.


vet and dog image: shutterstock