TICK BORNE DISEASE RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN THE DESOTO AREA

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TICK BORNE DISEASE RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN THE DESOTO AREA

       RECENTLY, A DOG WAS PRESENTED TO OUR CLINIC SHOWING SIGNS OF LETHARGY, LAMENESS AND SWOLLEN JOINTS, AND LACK OF APPETITE. BLOOD WORK AND XRAYS WERE TAKEN BUT WERE INCONCLUSIVE AS TO THE DIAGNOSIS. THE PATIENT WAS TREATED CONSERVATIVELY WITH ANTIBIOTICS AND ANTIINFLAMMAORY DRUGS. THIS CANINE WAS A HUNTING DOG AND WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF HUNTING SEASON. IT WAS ASSUMED HE PATIENT WAS OVER WORKED AND NEEDED A REST. WITHIN A FEW WEEKS, THE OWNER AND HIS CANINE COMPANION RETURNED WITH SIMILAR SIGNS AS BEFORE. A JOINT TAP WAS PERFORMED AT THE TIME AND IT WAS RECOMMENDED TO THE OWNER TO HAVE A TICK SEROLOGY PANEL ORDERED,AS WE WERE BEGINNING TO BELIEVE THERE MIGHT BE THE POSSIBILITY OF A TICK BORNE DISEASE AT WORK HERE. THE OWNER DECLINED BUT OPTED FOR A CHANGE IN TREATMENT. THE PATIENT DID WELL FOR AWHILE BUT RETURNED TO A LAMENESS WITH FEVER SYNDROME. FINALLY, WE WERE ABLE TO DRAW BLOOD FOR A TICK SEROLOGY AND SENT THE SAMPLE TO A REFERENCE LAB LOCALLY. THIS TEST WOULD COVER COMMON TICK BORNE DISEASES LIKE LYMES, EHRLICHIOSIS, AND ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER. WHEN THE RESULTS CAME BACK THE PATIENT WAS FOUND TO BE CARRYING ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER. THIS EXPLAINED EVERYTHING THE PATIENT WAS PRESENTING AND AN APPROPRIATE ANTIBIOTIC,DOXICYCLINE, WAS PRESCRIBED FOR A MINIMUM OF 3 WEEKS. ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER IS CAUSED BY A BACTERIA LIKE ORGANISM CALLED RICKETTSIA RICKETTSII. THE DISEASE IS CARRIED BY TICK BOTH THE AMERICAN DOG TICK AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WOOD TICK. THIS ORGANISM CAN INFECT BOTH DOGS AND HUMANS. DIRECT DOG TO HUMAN TRANSMISSION HAS NOT BEEN SEEN. SIGNS POSSIBLE IN A DOG MIGHT INCLUDE FEVER, ANOREXIA, ENLARGED LYMPH NODES,SWOLLEN JOINTS,COUGHING OR DIFFICULT BREATHING, ABDOMINAL PAIN, VOMITING AND DIARRHEA, SWELLING OF FACE AND EXTREMITIES, AND POSSIBLE SPOTS ON THE INSIDE OF THE EYES AND MOUTH. THIS IS WHERE THE DISEASE GETS IT'S NAME. UP TO 10 PERCENT OF DOGS MAY DIE OF THE DISEASE ALSO. WE RECOMMEND PREVENTION OF TICK INFESTATION ON YOUR DOGS AS WELL AS YOUR PREMISES. ALTHOUGH TICK BORNE DISEASE IS RARE IN OUR ARA, WE ARE NOW MORE CAUTIOUS THAN EVER TO BE VIGILANT IN THE PREVENTION OF TICKS IN OUR DOGS AND TO WATCH FOR EARLY SIGNS OF DISEASE. BE CAREFUL!!! 

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