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Tick Fever in Dogs - A Comprehensive Guide to Prevention, Symptoms, and Treatment

6 min read
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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on tick fever in dogs! As pet parents, it's important to be well-informed about tick-related diseases and their potential impact on our furry companions. In this article, we will explore the world of tick fever, including its causes, transmission, symptoms, prevention, and treatment. So grab your reading glasses, and let's embark on this journey to protect our furry friends!

What is Tick Fever?

Simply put, Tick fever is a tick-borne disease that can affect our beloved dogs. They are small arachnids that feed on the blood of animals, including dogs. They can transmit tick fever, caused by Babesia parasites, when it bites a dog on one of their outside adventures. These parasites invade the dog's red blood cells, causing damage and potentially leading to anemia and other health problems. If left untreated, tick fever can have serious consequences for a dog's health. The severity of the disease can vary, so it's important to be aware of the symptoms and seek prompt veterinary care if tick fever is suspected.

Transmission of Tick Fever

Ticks are the primary culprits behind the transmission of tick fever in dogs. These pesky bloodsuckers often lurk in grassy areas, waiting for an opportunity to latch onto our unsuspecting pets during their outdoor adventures. Moreover, these tiny creatures can pick up the infection from other animals and then pass it on to our furry friends when they take a bite. In short, it's like a game of "pass the fever" that we definitely don't want our dogs to participate in. Dogs can also become infected if they eat another tick-infected animal, like a mouse, so keep a close eye on what your pets chew on!


When it comes to tick fever, there are two types that can affect our dogs:

  1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) - RMSF is the more serious one, where ticks act like the villain of the fever world and can be downright dangerous if not treated promptly. They invade a dog’s bloodstream and allow for symptoms like fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and muscle pain to appear. As the infection progresses, more severe symptoms can develop, such as joint swelling, difficulty breathing, neurological issues, and even organ failure.

  2. Ehrlichiosis - Ehrlichiosis is lesser common than the two, and once a dog is bitten by this infected tick, the Ehrlichia bacteria enter their bloodstream and target white blood cells, which play a vital role in the immune system. This invasion of white blood cells leads to various symptoms and health complications, including swollen lymph nodes and respiratory problems.

Tick Fever Symptoms

Spotting the symptoms of tick fever in dogs can be tricky, as they can vary depending on the severity of the infection. Keep a close eye on your furry friend for these signs:

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Neurological symptoms (e.g., seizures, disorientation)


  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
  • Nosebleeds or bleeding disorders
  • Lameness or joint pain
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Eye inflammation
  • Respiratory problems (coughing, difficulty breathing)

Do note that these symptoms can vary in severity and may overlap with other illnesses, so it's essential to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis if you suspect your dog may have tick fever.

Prevention is Key

Preventing tick fever begins with implementing a strong prevention strategy. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Use tick preventive products recommended by your veterinarian, such as spot-on treatments, oral medications, or tick collars.
  • Regularly check your dog for ticks, especially after outdoor activities. Pay close attention to areas like the ears, neck, and paws.
  • Use fine-tipped tweezers or a dedicated tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can and gently extract it.
  • Avoid walking your dog in areas with tall grass or dense vegetation, where ticks are commonly found.
  • Keep your yard well-maintained by trimming bushes and grass regularly and creating a tick-free zone around your home.
  • Consider using tick repellents for your yard or outdoor areas, such as sprays or granules.
  • If you dress up your dog, it is recommended to make use of light-colored clothing, which can make it easier to spot ticks. You can also make them lay on a white towel while brushing them to spot ticks easily.
  • Minimize contact with wildlife, as they can carry ticks. Keep your dog away from areas frequented by wild animals.
  • Wash and dry your dog's bedding regularly to reduce the chances of ticks hiding there.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about vaccination options available for tick-borne diseases in your area.


If your furry friend is diagnosed with tick fever, don't panic. With timely veterinary intervention, most dogs can fully recover from this pesky intruder.

The treatment plan for tick fever may vary depending on the specific type of tick fever and the severity of the infection. Your veterinarian will guide you through the process and determine the best course of action for your dog's unique situation. Typically, treatment involves a combination of medications, such as antibiotics and antiprotozoal drugs. These medications work together to eliminate the tick-borne parasites that have invaded your dog's system. It's important to follow your veterinarian's instructions on medication administration and complete the full course of treatment, even if your dog starts feeling better.

Caring for a Dog with Tick Fever

During the treatment period, it's crucial to create a comfortable and stress-free environment for your dog. Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times, provide them with a nutritious diet, and allow them plenty of rest. Additionally, it may be necessary to limit your dog's physical activity and avoid strenuous exercise to prevent strain on their weakened immune system.

Regular follow-up visits to the vet will be scheduled to monitor your dog's recovery and ensure that the infection is fully resolved. It's important to keep a close eye on your dog's symptoms during this time and inform your veterinarian of any changes or new symptoms that arise. If you are a pet parent in Bangalore, you can schedule a vet visit using Kuddle App for a hassle-free experience. You can also schedule a vet video consultation with experienced veterinary doctors from any part of the world.


By arming ourselves with knowledge about tick fever in dogs, we can take proactive steps to protect our beloved pets. From prevention through regular checks and tick control measures to early detection and timely treatment, we have the power to help our dogs overcome tick fever and enjoy a healthy life. Remember, the well-being of our furry friends relies on our commitment to their health and safety. So let's stay vigilant, embrace preventive measures, and keep our furry pals tick-free!