Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

7 Facts About Deadly Tick-Borne Diseases


Ticks are nasty parasites that can harm both people and pets. These pests transmit infectious diseases that can lead to fatigue, muscle soreness, fever, paralysis, and even death.


Get the facts on some of the most common tick-borne diseases and make sure to protect your pet year-round with a flea and tick preventative.


Fact 1: Lyme Disease

In most cases, a tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before Lyme disease-causing bacteria can be transmitted.


It’s important to check your dog regularly for ticks after outdoor playtime and walks. If you find a tick, swiftly remove it and watch your dog for symptoms.


Fact 2: Babesiosis

Babesiosis targets a dog’s red blood cells and causes anemia.


Signs of babesiosis in dogs are typically severe, including pale gums, depression, dark-colored urine, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.


Fact 3: Lyme Disease

Lyme disease’s connection to ticks wasn’t proven until 1981.


Although it was first recognized in 1975, researchers didn’t prove the connection until the next decade. Willy Burgdorfer, Ph.D., was the scientist that made the discovery.


Fact 4: Tick Paralysis

The neurotoxin that causes tick paralysis is temperature sensitive.


If dogs are active or overheated, the disease will spread more quickly. Dogs recovering from the disease should be kept in a cool, quiet environment.


Fact 5: Lyme Disease

According to the Lyme Disease Association, dogs are 50 percent more likely to get Lyme disease than humans.


The disease is also usually first recognized in dogs before it is recognized in humans living in a particular area.


Fact 6: Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado Tick Fever is found in Rocky Mountain States from elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.


A virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick causes this disease. The most common symptoms include fever, chills, headache, body aches, and feeling tired.


Fact 7: Lyme Disease

In the 1990s, the town of Monhegan, Maine voted to remove every single deer on the island in an effort to control Lyme Disease.


The undertaking was successful and did reduce the tick population.



Centers for Disease Control


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion

Lyme Disease Association

Center for Northern Woodlands Education

Around the Web