Diseases that ticks can transmit

Ticks, although they are small, harmless insects have nothing. They shelter in the skin of the mammals of warm blood and suck the vital liquid. The problem is that they do not only suck the vital liquid, they can also infect and transmit various types of diseases , which in the case of not being treated properly can become serious health problems. Ticks do not fly, live in tall grass and crawl up or fall on their hosts.

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If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your pet, keep reading this YourCatCareguide article about diseases that ticks can transmit , many of which can affect you as well.

You might also be interested in: Diseases that street cats can pass on to humans

What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites or mites of larger size that are part of the family of arachnids, being cousins ​​of spiders, and transmitting diseases and infections to animals and people.

The most common types of ticks are the dog tick or dog tick and the black-legged tick or deer tick. Dogs and cats are attracted to open spaces with a lot of vegetation, grass, accumulated leaves or shrubs, and that is precisely where the ticks are, having a higher incidence in hot seasons.

Lyme disease

The most feared but common disease transmitted by deer ticks is Lyme disease , which is transmitted by ticks so small that they may not be seen. When this happens, the diagnosis is more difficult to perform. Once a tick of this type bites, it produces a circular, red rash that does not itch or hurt, but that goes on and on which causes tiredness, intense headaches, inflamed lymph nodes, facial and neurological muscle problems. This disease can occur more than once in the same patient.

This condition is an infection that greatly weakens but is not deadly , however, if not properly diagnosed and treated can develop problems such as:

  • Facial paralysis
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological disorders
  • Palpitations

Lyme disease should be treated with several types of antibiotics prescribed by the veterinarian.


The bacterium Francisella tularensis is the cause of tularemia, a bacterial infection transmitted by the bites of the ticks and also by the mosquitoes. The animals most affected by this disease that a tick can transmit are rodents, but humans can also be infected. The goal of treatment is to cure infection with antibiotics.

At 5 to 10 days the following symptoms appear :

  • Fever and chills.
  • Painless ulcers in the contact zone.
  • Irritation of the eyes, headache and muscle aches.
  • Stiffness in joints, difficulty breathing.
  • Weight loss and sweating.

Erliquiose human

This disease that a tick can transmit is contagious through the tick bites infested by three different bacteria: Ehrlichia chaffeensis , Ehrlichia ewingii and Anaplasma . The problem with this disease occurs most in children, because symptoms usually begin 5 to 10 days after the bite, and if the case becomes severe it can cause severe brain damage. For both pets and individuals, part of the treatment is the administration of antibiotics among other medications over a period of at least 6-8 weeks.

Part of the symptoms are identical to those of the flu: loss of appetite, fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, chills, anemia, decreased white blood cells (leukopenia), hepatitis, stomach pain, severe cough and in some cases rash cutaneous.

Tick ​​paralysis

Ticks are so versatile they can even cause loss of muscle function . The interesting thing is that when they cling to the skin of people and animals (mostly dogs), they release a poison that causes paralysis, and it is during this blood withdrawal process that the toxin enters the bloodstream. It is a double winning game for these little mites.

Paralysis starts from the feet and goes up all over the body. In addition, in most cases, it causes flu-like symptoms: muscle pain, tiredness and difficulty breathing. Intense care, nursing support and bathing with insecticides will be needed as treatment. As we mentioned, the biggest affected of paralysis by a tick bite are dogs, however, cats may also suffer from it.


Anaplasmosis is another disease that a tick can transmit. It is also an infectious zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people, just like pets . It is produced by an intracellular bacterium transmitted to humans by the bite of three species of ticks (deer: Ixodes scapularis , Ixodes pacificus and Dermacentor variabilis ). In some cases it causes gastrointestinal changes and mostly affects the white blood cells. The elderly and people who have a weak immune system are more sensitive and develop severe symptoms that can put them in danger of life, in this case immediate treatment with antibiotics is necessary.

Patients exposed to the disease agent have problems being diagnosed because of the non-specific nature of the symptoms and because they suddenly appear 7 to 14 days after the bite. Most are headaches, fever, chills, myalgia and malaise that can be confused with other infectious and non-infectious diseases and viruses. Also do not miss our articles on dog feverand fever in cats to know how to act.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles that might be useful to you , please visit our Preventionsection .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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