The most common disease passed from ticks to dogs (as well as cats and humans) is Lyme disease, which is carried by black-legged deer ticks. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, and according to the CDC, it’s the leading cause of insect-borne illness in the U.S. As Jennifer mentioned in our video on the disease, the New York Department of Health has found that 50% of adult ticks and 25% of ticks in the nymph stage carry Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease may include loss of appetite, fatigue, joint stiffness, fever, and difficulty walking.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Another bacterial infection, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is predominately caused by the American dog tick in New York. Other tick species such as black-legged ticks play a minor role in its transmission. RMSF can be fatal if not treated quickly.
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever may include loss of appetite, fatigue, joint stiffness, fever, coughing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and depression.
In addition to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tick bites can contribute to more generalized health issues such as heart and neurological disorders and even death.