Ticks: Tiny But Deadly

Ticks: Tiny But Deadly

Living in a warm and sunny country is great, but with it comes all the parasites and diseases associated with a warm and/or tropical climate. One of these little scourges can be found nearly all over South Africa, namely ticks.

There are two tick-borne diseases to be aware of; biliary and ehrlichia.


The Yellow Dog tick bites your dog; this is known as Tick Fever

  • A parasite called ‘Babesia canis,’ enters his bloodstream, causing the infection
  • Biliary is potentially life-threatening, killing thousands of dogs in South Africa annually
  • Thankfully, the sooner biliary is diagnosed and treated the higher the chance of survival for your pet
  • The incubation period can be up to 20 days, so often it is not noticed before it is too late


  • This is borne by the Brown Dog tick and is known as Tick Bite Fever
  • The parasite is Ehrlichia canis
  • The prognosis is not as dire because symptoms generally show much more quickly than they do in the case of Tick Fever


  • In both cases, prevention is better than cure
  • There are multiple prophylactics available on the market
  • A biliary vaccine has become available recently; it doesn’t prevent biliary completely, but does prevent the life-threatening side-effects

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