Deer Ticks On Pets

by Jennifer Smith February 08, 2018

It's true, dogs and cats can see the effects of Lyme Disease just as much as humans. Though Lyme Disease affects animals differently, we can point the finger at the white-tailed deer for spreading ticks to our pets.

When we allow deer onto properties, we are putting our pets at risk for tick-borne illnesses. Ticks hide in the grass and wait for their next blood meal; and this is usually when they spot a dog, cat or person. Dogs and cats may carry ticks inside homes and cause danger to humans. 

Dogs with tick bites will start to feel lethargic; mopey; in pain; and run high fevers. Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs may not occur for several days or weeks after a tick bite; and will not have that 'Bulls-eye' mark everyone keeps talking about. Instead, dogs may have sudden scabs and bumps. They may even shake heads to reduce the uncomfortable feeling of the tick. And, although dogs with Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics, the treatment may not kick in for some time. 

Cats on the other hand only experience acute lameness after a tick bite. Cats with Lyme Disease will feel the effects for 3-4 days. However, it isn't all fun and games for kitties. They will have weakened muscles and feel lethargic. They will not act like themselves. Cats can also be treated for Lyme with antibiotics from a vet near you.

 The moral of the story is that we need to protect pets from the spread of Lyme Disease by keeping away deer and other wild animals from our landscapes (pet fencing/deer fencing). Pets can not speak; so as responsible pet owners, we must watch changes in pets' behavior and know the signs of Lyme Disease. 

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith