Living in Hong Kong, our four-legged friends will most likely encounter a tick in their lives since ticks are everywhere, even in some indoor plants. The results of a tick bite can be harmless or fatal depending on what blood parasites the tick carries. Being a loving pet owner, you should be alerted with the associated symptoms, which were discussed in our previous article, as well as the possible treatment and prevention.

Generally, there are three types of common clinical treatments for treating tick fever: medication to kill blood parasites, treatment of anemia, and treatment of chronic immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. In some cases, blood cell count via blood test is extremely low, which is a life-threatening condition that requires blood transfusion immediately. The cause for this acute anemia is mainly due to the simultaneous occurrence of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. In such condition, white blood cells will fight the parasitic infections. This will rapidly destroy the blood parasites that live within the red blood cells, consequently leading to hemolytic crisis. If this is not probably treated, any dog diagnosed can die within a month. Since tick fever can reoccur, dogs received any therapy of tick fever are required to do regular checkup via blood tests.

As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. One simple action is to regularly apply anti-flea and tick medication on your dog’s neck. There are many types of tick prevention solution available in the market, but Frontline, Frontline plus or Advantix are the most effective. Beware some anti-flea solutions like Revolution do not work on tick control. Anti-flea or anti-tick collars do not work either. You should always apply the solution mentioned, as well as consider applying Frontline spray on the legs of your four-legged friend for further protection.

Tick prevention is vital but it is not 100% effective. In recent years, some ticks have shown resistance to Frontline. Hence, you should always check your four-legged friend every time after going out, especially after going to places where ticks thrive such as bushes, park or beach. Remember to examine closely all over the body and if you find any ticks in your four-legged dog, please take it to veterinary immediately.