Tisk Tisk Ticks!

Tisk Tisk Ticks!

 

The time is fast approaching when those beyond pesky little ticks will be emerging again! Besides being a nuisance,  they are dirty little parasites that not only take from us, but sometimes give … disease that is. With the increasing geographical location of the blacklegged ticks ( the most common carriers of Lyme disease in Canada) we all know that Lyme disease is a very real threat, especially when traveling.

However, ticks can infect with other pathogens (infectious agents) that can cause localized infections and other  diseases like erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and anaplasmosis. Did you know… that some of the tick borne illnesses that your dog can get might also get passed to you? Ehrlichia chaffeensis affects white blood cells but rarely causes clinical disease in dogs. The infection poses a greater risk to human health and is known as monocytotropic ehrlichiosis(1)

Tick size

Some symptoms you may notice with different tick borne diseases may include, but are not limited to:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness or sore joints
  • Abnormal bruising
  • Neurological symptoms

Now, what do we do to protect ourselves? These little “bugs” like to live in long grass, bushes, fields …anywhere. We need to take precautions in the spring, summer and fall. For us, we should wear long sleeves, pants and do a tick check after being in a tick – prone area. For our pets, take your hands and run them over your pets’ fur and body. If you feel something like a lump, part the fur and have a look. Please feel free to come in and talk to our veterinarians about what would work best for your pets for flea and tick control.

 

What to do if you find one?

Tick removal and preparation – Do’s

  • With tweezers, gently grasp its head and mouth parts as close to your skin as possible.
  • Slowly pull the tick straight out – do not jerk or twist it.
  • Save the tick in a clean, empty pill bottle or double zip-lock bag. Do not add any ventilation holes to the container that is being used to put the tick(s) in. You can put more than one tick in the container if they are found on the same pet or in the same general area.
  • Add a small piece of tissue, lightly moistened with water, to prevent the tick(s) from drying out. (2)

remove-a-tick

 Tick removal and preparation – Do Not’s

  • Try not to squash it.
  • Do not apply matches, cigarettes, or petroleum jellies to the tick as these may cause an infected tick to release the bacteria into the wound. (2)

References:

http://www.dogsandticks.com (1)

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/tickinfo-eng.php

http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/lyme-disease.html(2)

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