New Emerging Tick Diseases
Possibly as a result of long-term use of topical flea products and/or rapid mutation of parasites and the diseases
they carry, super tick diseases seem to be emerging at an alarming rate. This may be one of the major
under-diagnosed group of illnesses in veterinary and human medicine today.
These include not only lyme disease but also ehrlichiosis and rocky mountain spotted fever. Many excellent
diagnostic laboratories will also tell you that there seem to be many variable strains of these three ricketsial
There are also three stages of this syndrome: acute, sub-acute, and chronic.
The culprit has always been the brown dog tick and the long star tick. I believe that other insects are now
carrying this: fleas, mosquitoes, and even biting flies. I also am convinced that the horse strain of Ehrlichiosis
is now seen in the canine.
To me, this situation is now endemic in all parts of our country and is bordering on epidemic status. The midwest
and eastern states of the United States have always had a major problem with these tick-borne syndromes, but I now
believe it is creating chaos in dogs and people all the way to the entire west coast.
Rocky mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Lymes Disease should be suspected if any of the following
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Shortness of Breath
Pain or Stiffness in Joints, Legs
Circular,very red lesions on the skin
Inflammation of the eye or swelling above a sinus area ***
The most common symptom I have seen this winter is a simple puffiness over the sinus area--with or without
inflammation of the eye itself. The common misdiagnosis that is made over and over is an infected molar. Often a
perfectly good tooth is extracted under the swollen area. Unfortunately, the real culprit is still lurking in the
bloodstream or the spleen.
In any suspect patient, a blood sample should be submitted with a request of a Kaufman Tick Panel. I recommend
sending this to a lab that is very familiar with this test and performs it on a daily basis. This diagnostic will
check for all three of the diseases, even if the dog has already been on antibiotics. I use a private lab in Tulsa,
Oklahoma because they run this test on many dogs every day. I shy away from labs that are corporate-owned.
This disease can be managed very well. Most dogs need antibiotics, usually for a course of three weeks. I also use
powerful antioxidants, chinese herbs, immune boosters, among other therapies. Just remember--these are treatable.
They are becoming very, very common and are often undiagnosed.
by - Dr. Jenifer Preston