Ticks have taken over the news in recent years, Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases are coming to light all over North America. Today I just want to talk about how to prevent ticks on your pets and some helpful tips on summer adventures.
Ticks love to live in areas of long tall grass and wooded areas. The ticks hold on to the grass or trees and stick their legs out to catch a host. When they get onto a dog or cat they will migrate to certain areas to get a better meal, especially on double coated or long haired dogs. Below is a diagram showing where ticks like to go and what they look like when they are full of a meal.
Once the tick has attached it will start to feed on blood. Products like Revolution let the tick take a meal but as they feed the activated medications start to kill them. Some ticks will die but still be attached to the dog or cat, there is no risk to the animal but you still need to remove the tick.
The best way to avoid ticks is to not be in their areas, living in Alberta it’s hard to avoid! Especially in the summer when we are all out with our animals camping, traveling etc. If going out in their areas it’s best to be protected with monthly tick products like Revolution. Apply monthly through tick season, here in Alberta it’s from May to October. In warmer years like this year when ticks are coming out earlier start these products in April and finish in October. When camping or traveling be sure to check your dog or cat for ticks after being out in wooded areas. Like above check the areas they are most likely to attach to and feed, then give a good whole body check. There are tick removers on the market but be sure to ask your veterinarian on the best way to remove them.
Asking your veterinarian on what products are best for your pet is ideal, over the counter products from pet stores can be harmful to your pets and cause kidney and liver failure. Always consult with your veterinarian before purchasing products.
In Alberta the Lyme risk is low but as we get warmer temperatures there is a risk for it to come here. If you find a tick please submit it to us at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital as Alberta has a surveillance program to track ticks, to ensure we are up to date with all ticks and what disease they carry into Alberta. In Red Deer there have been ticks found so even if your pet stays in the area please ensure you are using a tick product throughout the summer months. The staff at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital are here to help your pet be free of these pesky ticks!
Written by: Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital