Frightening tick-borne disease found in Midwest resident

Tick-borne disease prevention begins with continually checking your pet's fur for the pests

Just because the weather has grown colder doesn't mean that the threat of fleas and ticks is gone for the year. These disease-carrying pests are still a threat to your health and your pet's health. For example, an Ohio man is lucky to be alive after battling for weeks in the hospital with ehrlichiosis disease, which was transmitted by a tick bite.

Jim Thomas contracted the disease after encountering a tick while hiking in the woods, reported WKRC Cincinnati. Soon his fever skyrocketed to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, his kidneys and liver shutdown and he was unable to breathe on his own. Thomas slipped into a coma, only to be awoken three weeks later. 

According to health resource VCA Animal Hospitals, ehrlichiosis in dogs can cause a host of problems, including anemia, swollen limbs and the inability to create any of the blood cells necessary to sustain life. Treatments for humans and animals are available in the form of antibiotics. The importance lies in getting treatment as soon as the signs of the life-threatening disease appear. 

Rid your environment of ticks
The best method of prevention for ehrlichiosis, and any tick-borne disease, is ridding the environment of ticks and using tick preventative products on your dog and cat, reported VCA Animal Hospitals. Along with using products like the Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs to repel and kill ticks for up to seven months, you should continually check your pet carefully for ticks. Jim Thomas told WKRC that he and his family did check for ticks after their hike, but he never found the one that eventually gave him ehrlichiosis – it was too small for him to find immediately.

If you suspect that your dog has been in a tick-infested area, running a fine-tooth comb through its fur is the first step in preventing the contraction of tick-borne illnesses. Even as the temperatures drop, ticks are still lurking outside in your yard. Yard and kennel spray products can kill ticks and greatly reduce the chances that you have to pick one of the pests off of your pet. 

This content is provided by the flea treatment experts at Hartz. We offer flea sprays, shampoos and drops to keep your pets safe inside and outside your home.