AKC eNewsletter

Summer 2011

7 reasons to protect your dogs from ticks – and one easy way to do it

Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) are an increasing threat for dogs for several reasons. For example, biographic changes in the U.S. in recent decades have made white-tailed deer, a major host for ticks, more common in suburban and urban areas.1

Ticks can transmit organisms that may cause diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and others. Here are 7 good reasons to make sure the dogs in your care are protected from ticks that may transmit these disease-causing organisms.

1. Quality of life
CVBDs can cause dogs to suffer. Some of the clinical signs may include:

  • Ehrlichiosis: Fever, nosebleeds, weight loss, lethargy
  • Lyme disease: Joint pain, lameness, fever
  • Anaplasmosis: Fever, lethargy, anorexia, enlarged lymph nodes
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Lethargy, anorexia, fever, ocular changes, enlarged lymph nodes, weight loss, joint pain, generalized hemorrhages

2. Lifelong health
Some CVBDs can leave dogs with chronic health problems.

  • Tick-borne disease agents may not always be eliminated from an infected host, even with antibiotic  treatment,2,3 and may lead to relapse even years later.4
  • Effects of CVBD infection can be lasting; for example, canine ehrlichiosis may cause irreversible neurologic damage or blindness.4,5

3. Longevity
Left untreated, CVBDs may sometimes lead to premature death.

  • Canine Lyme disease, for example, can result in potentially fatal conditions including kidney failure (Lyme nephritis).
  • Other tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis can also be fatal in dogs.

4. Co-infection
A single tick can harbor and transmit multiple infectious agents at the same time.

  • A dog who is infected with one CVBD may also be infected with another.
  • Cases of anaplasmosis and Lyme disease co-infection in dogs have risen since 2001.6

5. Dogs housed together
As demonstrated in a “traveling ticks” study, adult ticks will readily move from one host dog to another while actively feeding.7

  • That’s why it’s important to ensure all dogs in your care are protected from ticks — even those with limited or no direct exposure to tick-infested areas.

6. Cost of treatment
A dog who is infected with a CVBD may need weeks or even months of treatment.

  • Taking steps to prevent transmission of disease-causing organisms may be more cost-effective than treating a serious tick-borne infection.

7. Difficulty of prevention
Although vaccines are available for certain CVBDs (e.g., Lyme disease), others such as ehrlichiosis are not vaccine preventable.

  • The way to defend against these diseases is to prevent attachment of ticks.

Organisms that cause tick-borne diseases are passed to a dog while the tick is feeding on the dog’s blood. That’s why you should choose pest protection that repels AND kills ticks. Repellency is important because it prevents most ticks from attaching and feeding. If a tick doesn’t attach, it can’t transmit disease-causing organisms.

K9 Advantix® II repels and kills ticks, as well as adult fleas and mosquitoes. K9 Advantix® II also kills all flea life stages, repels biting flies and kills lice. By repelling and killing ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, K9 Advantix® II may reduce the risk of transmission of disease-causing organisms.

K9 Advantix® II is easy to apply, and taking this one simple step each month can help protect your dog from ticks that may transmit disease-causing organisms.

More about K9 Advantix® II:

  • It is gentle enough for puppies 7 weeks of age and older.
  • It’s waterproof, so there is no need for reapplication after a bath or swimming. For best results, treated dogs should be bathed with a non-detergent shampoo.
  • K9 Advantix® II must not be used on cats, due to their unique physiology and inability to metabolize certain compounds.

Visit petparents.com for additional information.

1Little SE. Developments in canine tick-borne disease. Clinician’s Update. 2008;August:2-4.
2Hodzic E, Feng S, Holden K, et al. Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi following antibiotic treatments in mice. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008;52:1728-1736.
3Schaefer JJ, Needham GR, Bremer WG, et al. Tick acquisition of Ehrlichia canis from dogs treated with doxycycline hyclate. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007;51:3394-3396.
4Tilley LP, Smith FWK. The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult Canine and Feline. 3rd ed. Baltimore, Md.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004:392-393.
5Nelson RW, Couto GC. Small Animal Internal Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:1063.
6Is it Lyme disease, anaplasmosis — or both? IDEXX Laboratories website. Available at: http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/education/is-it-lyme-disease-anaplasmosis-or-both.pdf. Accessed May 6, 2011.
7Little SE, Hostetler J, Kocan KM. Movement of Rhipicephalus sanguineus adults between co-housed dogs during active feeding. Vet Parasitol. 2007;150:139-145.

K9 Advantix® II is for use on dogs only.
K9 Advantix is a registered trademark of Bayer.

Ronald N. Rella, Director, Breeder Services
Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org
Customer Service | Phone: 919-233-9767 | Email: info@akc.org

© The American Kennel Club 2011