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Question
Posted by: Cleo | 2006/07/21

Tick Fever

I found 3 ticks on my 2 and a half month old Staffie pup last night. The one tick was already dead. I am so scared that she's got tick fever. She's still eating and playing. Should I take her to the vet??

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Our expert says:
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No it is not necessary at this stage. Keep a close aeye on her and if she goes off her food take her to your vet. If you are concerned visit your vet anyway as they will be only too happy to put your mind at ease.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2006/07/22

No, don't worry at this stage. Not all ticks carry the billiary infection - most are relatively harmless. The infection would in any case take a little while to develop, it's normally necessary for the ticks to be on the dog for a day or two in order to infect it. Of course this could have been the case... when the ticks arrive they're tiny, and you normally only see them once they're fat and engorged with blood.

BUT: watch your puppy CAREFULLY and observe her eating patterns and overall appearance, and if you are in the slightest doubt, then do not waste any time getting her to the vet. As Kate said, also watch the gums and the inner rims of the eyes, they should be nice and pink - but if you're worried, don't wait for them to get pale before you take action. If she does have it, then time is of the essence... but if you take the pup now, then even if the ticks were carriers, it most likely wouldn't even show up yet, so a clear diagnosis wouldn't be truly meaningful.

Do you know where the pup picked up the ticks? Have you taken her anywhere lately? Some areas - in fact, some specific fields in some areas, are known to have ticks that carry billiary - I know that Rondebosch Common in Cape Town, some years ago, was a known hotspot. Reason I ask is that if you do know where the ticks are likely to have come from, you could phone and ask your vet if there's much billiary around from that area.

Most dogs get a tick or two in their time. I wouldn't overreact, but I also wouldn't be overly blase about it - just use your common sense.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Kate | 2006/07/21

Yes I would just to be safe as the dog can go from healthy to dead faster than you can say Jack Srapt, if it has been infected by the tick.
Check for pale gums and listlessness but then you don't have much time.
Also a pup is so vulnerable so I would go to the vet.

Reply to Kate

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