Arthropods, like ticks, can carry a variety of infectious organisms causing diseases like Lyme’s disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Myth: I’ve never seen a tick on my dog, so there is no way my dog could have a tick-borne disease.
Fact: Tick bites are painless and often are not felt by the host mammal. Ticks can be small and can hide in the fur, and common places are in the fur between the toes, in the axillary or inguinal regions, or in the folds of the ear not easily visible or accessible when petting the dog. Also, ticks often fall of the host mammal after they have fed, and if the tick transmitted an infectious disease, it may be many days before the dog begins showing signs of illness and the tick itself may be long gone.
There are a lot of other infectious viral and bacterial diseases transmitted by other vectors, including mosquitos, mites, fleas and other insects that dogs and cats are exposed to across the county, including Florida.
Please discuss routine flea and tick prevention with your primary care veterinarian. If your dog or cat develops lethargy, vomiting, decreased appetite, jaundice, or lameness (including swelling of the joints), please seek veterinary attention immediately.