Check your dogs for ticks – they get diseases, too

DETROIT – Medical experts are reminding people to carefully check themselves for ticks, especially now that a case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever has recently been confirmed in Michigan.

The experts at BluePearl Veterinary Partners are making another important recommendation: Check your dogs for ticks, too.

Check your dogs carefylly for ticks after they go into the woods

Check your dogs carefully for ticks after they go into the woods

Dogs also get bitten by ticks and become infected with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis and other ailments.

“It’s relatively common for us to see dogs with ticks, and they can cause significant diseases,” said BluePearl’s Dr. Adam Lancaster, who is board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care. “But it’s preventable if people carefully check their dogs for ticks.”

The chance of a dog or a human getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever is very low, in spite of the recent confirmed case. It was Michigan’s first since 2009.

But it’s quite common for dogs to be carrying ticks, which they can pick up on summertime hikes in the woods, or sometimes just from romping in the back yard. And these ticks carry diseases harmful to dogs.

Here are some pointers on how to prevent your furry companions from getting tick-borne diseases:

  • Talk to your family veterinarian about tick collars, or tick preventatives that can be applied topically or taken orally. Remember to look and feel for ticks on your dogs daily, if they go outside.
  • Ticks can wind up about anywhere on dogs’ bodies, but pay close attention to the head, ears and neck.
  • Vaccines against Lyme disease are available. Discuss this option also with your family veterinarian to see if it is appropriate for your area.
  • Signs of Lyme disease include when a dog is lame, limping on one or more legs.
  • Lethargy and fever also are signs of Erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.


“Any time your dogs go into a wooded area, I would recommend giving them a good check for ticks afterward,” Lancaster said. “It’s the best way to keep them safe.”

BluePearl hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for pets with emergency medical needs. For pets who suffer long-term effects of Lyme disease or other ailments, BluePearl employs board-certified experts in veterinary internal medicine, critical care and several other specialties, to provide pets with the most advanced care possible.