Tick Talk!

Tick Talk!

Ticks are most definitely a not so super villain !!

Ticks are most definitely a not so super villain !!

Pet owners and their furry companions often welcome spring with open arms and paws. Spring means longer and more enjoyable walks, more exploring, and sitting in the warm grass sunbathing. Unfortunately, for you, your pet, and other animals, there are others who love the warmer weather just as much.

As soon as the temperatures are above freezing, ticks become more active and ready to find their tasty host. Ticks have four life stages (egg, larvae, nymph, and adult) searching for a host as soon as they hatch. Completing each life cycle, the tick will have many hosts and does not discriminate where they find their next blood meal (From birds, reptiles, amphibians, to mammals).

Not only do we need to worry about our pets having the creepy crawlies and possibly getting sick from them, most times our pets share our house, our furniture, and even our beds! Our pets can potentially bring a tick into our home and from there it may make its way onto other indoor-only pets (such as cats) and onto us.

Most times, the disease we think of right away that is associated with ticks is Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is for sure a terrible illness, but we need to be aware that ticks carry many other diseases which affect us and our pets. Some other diseases include:

  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Babesiosis

Ticks love tall grass and forested areas. Unfortunately for us, they are smart and will identify and wait in popularly used paths. Ticks cannot jump or fly, so they will climb onto grass, brush, and shrubs with outstretched legs waiting for a host to walk by. Once on its host, it will look for areas on the body where the skin is thinner (such as the ear, neck, or groin area). If a tick is infected, it can take less than 24 hours for transmission of Lyme disease, other diseases 24-48 hours. The sooner the tick is detected and removed, the less chance of disease transmission.

Now what? What can we do to protect ourselves and our pet? The key is prevention! It is never too late to think about tick prevention as some species of ticks search for hosts even into early winter. Some suggestions for prevention for yourself and your pet is:

  • Walking on clearly marked paths and avoiding long grassy areas
  • Checking your pet and yourself for ticks after being outside or in higher tick infested areas
  • For humans, wearing a bug repellent with DEET in it when outside
  • For pets, a Veterinary approved tick control product from your Veterinarian

If you find a tick on your pet, there are many resources on how to remove a tick safely (which will be posted below), or your Veterinary professionals can remove it safely for you.

As we said earlier, prevention is the best form of defense in the avoidance of ticks on your pet, and our team at Cypress View Veterinary Clinic are always there to help you find the best prevention for the lifestyle that you and your pet have!

More information on Ticks in the links below:

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/life_cycle_and_hosts.html

http://www.dogsandticks.com/

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

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/cpv13168/$FILE/2015-tick-summary.pdf

 

Comments are closed.