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      Tick leads to Ehrlichia disease in man's best friend

      A solitary tick bite can injure or even kill a dog.

      Most people associate ticks with Lyme disease, but they're also known to cause a disease known as Ehrlichia.

      Greg Uppinghouse lives in rural Adams County with his Blue Heeler-mix named "Blue." Earlier this year, Blue began experiencing some medical issues.

      "She had some sores and wasn't feeling good, just laying around and no energy," said Uppinghouse.

      Uppinghouse took Blue to several vets. Bob Reich in Quincy diagnosed Blue with Ehrlichia.

      "When Blue came in it had swelling or edema from the heart down, meaning it had poor circulation," said Reich. "All the blood vessels were inflamed and the heart was enlarged and working very vigorously trying to keep up. The dog was almost in heart failure."

      VeterinaryPartner.com says that Ehrlichia is a type of bacteria that infect and live within the white blood cells of their hosts. There are various strains of it including one that infects humans. Different Ehrlichia species are spread by different types of ticks.

      Typical symptoms in humans include fever, headache, fatigue, and sore muscles.

      Reich treated the dog with a variety of medications, including antibiotics and heart medicine. It was one of the worst cases of this disease he had ever seen.

      Blue's now on the road to recovery.

      "Yep, we work out in the fields together, she goes with me everyday, stays with me at night, so yep we're together all the time," said Uppinghouse.

      Reich said there are preventative treatments available for dogs and cats to avoid this disease.

      He said it's a good talk to have with your vet as to what treatment would be be good for your dog or cat.