Tularemia : A Rare Infection In Dogs Tularemia infection in dogs

Tularemia : A Rare Infection In Dogs

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Tularemia is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs, cats, and humans. While it's rare in dogs, it's important to know the signs of infection and what you should do if your dog contracts tularemia.

Tularemia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This infection has also been called rabbit fever since it was first discovered in rabbits in Tulare County, California. The disease is transmitted to humans and pets by infected ticks, rodents, and deer flies; it may also be transmitted through handling infected animals such as squirrels or hares.

Tularemia is spread by ticks, deer flies, and mosquitoes. It is not spread from dog to dog or from dog to human. Tularemia also cannot be passed from one person to another.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has It?

If your dog is showing any of the following symptoms, she may have tularemia:

  • Fever

  • Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck and groin area

  • Loss of appetite; lethargy

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

  • Rash

Some dogs will develop a rash on their face and feet; others may develop a red, warm spot on their body that doesn't go away within two weeks' time. The skin lesion is usually circular or oval in shape and can be about 2 inches in diameter. The center may be white or clear with a pinkish tinge around it; it might also have bumps. This type of lesion is called ulcerative pharyngitis by veterinarians because of its resemblance to human papillomavirus (HPV). Although this virus often causes warts around human mouths, there's no evidence that it can lead to cancerous lesions in dogs' mouths either.

Is There A Cure?

Tularemia is a serious bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics for dogs. However, there is no cure for tularemia in dogs. That's because antibiotics for dogs isn't effective against bacteria that are resistant to them. But there's no need to worry about developing a case of tularemia yourself—it's very rare for humans to get sick from animal-borne diseases like this one. In fact, most people who contract it do so in occupational settings where they come into contact with infected animals on a regular basis (like veterinarians and wildlife biologists).

Prevention Is Your Best Bet

The best way to deal with tularemia is prevention. Your veterinarian will recommend vaccinating your dog against the disease, and there are other natural ways to keep them safe too. Pet medications rich in Vitamin B-12 supplementation and Doxycycline for dogs can help boost their immune system and make it more difficult for bacteria like Francisella tularensis to take hold in their body. It’s also important to avoid dog fleas and ticks as much as possible—especially in areas highly populated by them.


Ticks carry a lot of diseases, including Tularemia, so it’s vital that you be extra vigilant about checking your dog for any ticks before letting them outside, especially if you live in an area where these parasites are common (typically during warmer months). You must also frequently administer flea and tick medicine for dogs.

Additionally, keeping an eye out for rabbits and squirrels (both wild animals) can come in handy here, too: they may seem harmless but have been known carriers of tularemia since time immemorial.

Take Preventive Measures To Keep Your Dogs Safe

Keep your pet's food and water clean, so they won't be exposed to infected rodents or rabbits in lakes or streams if you allow them to drink from open water sources such as streams or ponds where animals have been drinking from before them.

  • Keep your dog away from wildlife.

  • Vaccinate your dog against tularemia.

  • Keep your pet's vaccinations up to date. (The CDC recommends this for dogs, cats, and ferrets)

  • Keep your pet's flea and tick control up to date. (Fleas are one of the primary ways that tularemia is spread.)


Tularemia is not an easy disease to treat, so prevention is your best bet. If you live in an area where tularemia is known to occur or if your dog spends time outdoors, make sure that he has regular veterinary checkups and stays on flea and tick prevention year-round.

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