A new wave of infection has taken over the state of Kochi in India. However, this time, it’s the dogs that are suffering. Tick fever has been affecting the health of domesticated and stray dogs in the city. The rising temperature is considered to be an ideal situation for the tick fever causing bacterial organism called Rickettsia to reproduce. To quote Dr. Eldose A, a vet surgeon at the Government Veterinary Hospital near Durbar Hall, in an interview with The Times of India, “The hospital has been handling minimum seven tick fever case cases daily since past few weeks. Most of the infected animals are dogs.”
“We receive four to five tick fever cases per day in our hospital. Tick infestation in dogs will rise in rising temperature. Prevention is the best cure as there is no vaccination for it.” said Dr K J Kishore, a veterinary doctor at a private hospital, to The Times of India. He further added, “Ticks are carriers and an infected tick can pass on the disease in just bit if the dogs are susceptible and their immunity is low.”
What is more alarming in this situation is that the organisms are mutating and developing resistance against the medicines to treat Tick fever. Hence, combing a dog’s hair and looking out for ticks is a practice that can be followed to prevent this infection from spreading.
An easy way to identify Tick fever in the initial stage is to notice the symptoms such as decrease in food intake, lethargy, and vomiting periodically. The same can be the cause of troubles in later stages by causing high fever and blood stains in the mucus membrane.
A dog’s health can deteriorate if the diagnosis of the infection is delayed. Not only that, the diagnosis at later stages is not pocket friendly as it can cost anywhere between Rs. 2000-4000 per day of the treatment.