Symptoms and treatment of tick-borne encephalitis in animals
If you have a pet, then you probably try to take care of his health. One of the most dangerous diseases, the peak of which occurs in summer and autumn - is tick-borne encephalitis. How to identify and cure it?
Causes of the disease
The main carrier of tick-borne encephalitis, as the name implies, is ixodic tick. But not all of these parasites are contagious, and the risks of infection increase at the peak of their activity, that is, in late May and early June, as well as in September. In addition, there are regions that are endemic in the spread of encephalitis, that is, those in which cases of infection have been recorded and continue to be recorded. Moreover, the disease is subject to both street or wild, and domestic animals that go on walks.
How fast is the disease?
The incubation period can last from several hours or days to one to three weeks. Its duration depends on several factors:
- Age of the animal. As a rule, young individuals have weaker immunity, which can not cope with virus attacks, which is why the disease develops quickly enough, as pathogens rapidly multiply and spread throughout the body.
- The state of the immune system. So, if the animal has recently suffered some disease, then its immunity is surely weakened, and this will significantly shorten the incubation period.
- The time during which the tick was on the body of the animal and sucked blood. The longer this process was, the more encephalitis pathogens managed to get into the blood.
- The number of infected ticks that bit the animal. The longer there were, the shorter the incubation period would be.
How to recognize the disease?
How to detect tick-borne encephalitis in dogs or cats? The disease has such symptoms:
- The incubation period usually passes unnoticed. In some cases, there may be some signs of general malaise, but often the owners write off them for fatigue, indigestion, heat or other causes.
- As a rule, the disease begins with an increase in body temperature of a dog or cat.And usually it is quite sharp and reaches 40-41 degrees. This symptom is accompanied by lethargy, worsening appetite, apathy. Then relief may come, but it is temporary and false.
- Further, the dog can completely abandon the meal. Digestion may be disturbed, in some cases, there are bouts of vomiting, severe diarrhea. Sometimes there are blood streaks in feces.
- Sharp mood swings. A dog or cat can become both apathetic and, on the contrary, easily excitable, overly aggressive.
- Motor functions and coordination are severely affected. The gait of an animal may become shaky, unstable. There is weakness in the paws, which is often accompanied by cramps. Equilibrium can be lost, some dogs and cats literally fall. Further paralysis of the paws may occur.
- The color of the urine can vary considerably.
- Sclera and mucous membranes may fade or become yellowish.
- There is an increased sensitivity to the slightest mechanical effects: even touching can cause pain to the animal. And most often such symptoms spread to the neck and head, because encephalitis provokes brain damage.
How to treat?
It is necessary to begin to act as quickly as possible, since as the disease progresses, it can cause irreversible consequences, up to complete paralysis or even death. Therefore, after you find a pet tick on the body, immediately remove it with your head and mouth apparatus and send it to the laboratory for examination. If the study reveals that the parasite is not the causative agent of the disease, then you can relax.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the following drugs may be prescribed:
- Antiprotozoal drugs that can suppress the activity of the simplest microorganisms, that is, to destroy infectious agents. These include funds Piro-Stop, Azidin-Vet, Veriben, Pirosan.
- Funds against increased intracranial pressure (it increases due to inflammation of the gray matter), for example, Mannitol, Diacarb.
- In order to detoxify and purify the body, diuretics or saline solution may be prescribed. But it is worth remembering that they significantly increase the load on the kidneys, so you need to connect and supportive therapy.
- Since encephalitis causes inflammation of the gray matter of the brain, treatment should be aimed at stopping such processes. For this purpose, usually prescribed hormonal drugs, most often corticosteroids.
- Treatment should also be aimed at maintaining and restoring the functions of all important organs, such as the lungs, liver, and heart. It is equally important to constantly evaluate their work in order to notice any deviations in time.
Forecasts will depend on the condition of the animal, the characteristics of its body, as well as the timeliness of therapy. So, if a dog or cat is young and has good immunity, and the treatment was started on time, then the pet will be able to fully recover and recover, avoiding negative consequences. And yet, unfortunately, a fatal outcome or paralysis is likely.
How to avoid trouble?
Prevention of tick-borne encephalitis in animals is to comply with the following rules:
- Protect the pet from the disease will help vaccinate. But it is important to make it in advance so that the specific immunity can develop and help to resist the attacks of pathogens. It is better to take care of this before the peak of tick activity, that is, in early spring.
- Use a specialized anti-tick agent for pet processing.And when applying it, be sure to observe the data in the instruction manual.
- If you have a private house or cottage, then treat the house adjoining plot with an insecticidal preparation to destroy all the parasites in the territory. Moreover, such processing should be repeated and carried out regularly.
- Inspect your pet regularly to see and remove ticks on time. Do this after each walk, and especially carefully and carefully.
Now you can not only identify tick-borne encephalitis in an animal in time, but also protect your pet from such a disease.
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