E. Nashville Dog Infected With Tick-borne Illness

How To Protect Your Pets From Ticks
Posted at 10:37 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 23:47:11-04

Warm weather has brought tick season into full effect, and it hasn't just affected people, pets are susceptible too.

One East Nashville dog owner was caught by surprise when his rescue dog, Data, was diagnosed with a potentially deadly illness.

"Lucky enough, it was in one of the earlier stages and it wasn't serious; so we've put him on a pretty intense regime of antibiotics to kind of help get rid of it," said the pet owner.

Even though Data has a flea and tick collar, the dog was infected with the tick-borne illness called Ehrlichia.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to Allison Fields, a veterinarian at Hermitage Animal Clinic, who said Ehrlichia is very common but can be deadly.

She said you should check for ticks on the underside of your pet, their legs and other places where there is moisture.

Then, if you see a tick, remove it immediately including the head.

"There's lots of different things you can do - light a match, touch it to the tick, see if it'll back out - but a lot of times if you can just get a really good hold of it with a pair of either tweezers or fingernails up by the head, you can pull the whole thing out. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, by all means, go see your veterinarian," said Fields.

To prevent tick bites, vets say your best bet is oral preventative medication for dogs.

Topical medication is only available for cats, but it's important to use because ticks can infect cats with "Bobcat Fever" which is deadly.