Tick-borne Disease in Pets
The following guide contains general information about tick-borne infection in companion animals. It is not intended to be a diagnostic tool. Diagnosis and treatment of animals should only be performed by a veterinary surgeon who should consult current literature and pharmacological formularies before initiating any treatment protocol.
Ticks can carry a variety of pathogens concurrently and so it is very important to check for multiple infections when a tick-borne disease is suspected.
Prevention is far preferable to cure. Please view our Tick Prevention page for the best methods of protecting your pets.
There are many different tick-borne diseases worldwide and therefore it isn’t practical to list them all. In this guide we concentrate purely on infections that can be acquired from British ticks, and diseases reported in pets returning to Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme, which ended in January 2012:
Anaplasmosis / Ehrlichiosis
Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species parasitize the white blood cells of many animal species.
Babesia species parasitize the red blood cells of their hosts.
Bartonella infections are often found in cats and dogs without any apparent symptoms but sometimes they do get sick.
Borreliosis (Lyme disease)
Borreliosis can cause serious disease in pet animals.
Babesia canis is a parasite of canine red blood cells and a cause of potentially fatal haemolytic anaemia in dogs.