After a very long winter, things have now warmed up and the creepy crawly bugs are back on the prowl. Ticks are now on the go, looking for their next meal! Did you know that ticks are active during any temperatures above 4 degrees Celsius! Ticks will attach onto our furry friend’s skin, feasting on their blood.
However, if these ticks are infected with a disease, they can now transmit this onto the pet they are feeding on. These ticks can be picked up in vegetative areas like forests and meadows. The low-lying stature of dogs compared to humans makes them more susceptible to infestations and therefore potential infection. Keep in mind, these ticks can also crawl off your dog and onto you, therefore continuous checks after being outside is important.
So, what are the most common tick-borne diseases?
Lyme Disease: Transmitted by deer ticks which are seen in the Caledon area. Symptoms range from joint, pain, lethargy, lameness, decreased appetite and fever. Signs of infection can take months to appear.
Anaplasmosis: Also known as “Dog Fever”, carried by the deer tick has similar symptoms to Lyme disease with additional concerns for vomiting and diarrhea.
Ehrlichiosis: Transmitted by the dog tick. Symptoms include fever, decreased appetite, weight loss, respiratory distress, and a frequent bleeding nose.
These are just some of the many possible infections that can be transmitted to our fellow canines. If you and your dog frequent these areas or live in a rural area, it may be good to consider preventatives to help keep your pets safe.
Contact our clinic for special “tick twisters” and learn how to properly
remove them if you ever come across an attachment, it is always good to keep these tick removers on hand. Once removed, drop them into isopropyl alcohol to kill them so they do not re-enter the world potentially reproducing and infecting others.
If ever your dog has been exposed to a tick bitten, even while taking preventatives it is always recommended to run a blood test 4-6 weeks after exposure. A simple 4Dx blood test will indicate if there has been any exposure to these tick borne diseases, and help us decide if any further action is needed.
Tips and Tricks to keep away Ticks
- Wear light-coloured clothing that covers your legs and arms. This will allow ticks to become more easily seen so you can remove them quickly, and covering up means less skin is exposed for ticks to attach.
- Stick to marked trails and avoid going into the dense brushy areas. When ticks look for their next meal, they crawl on the vegetation (tall grasses for example) and wait.
- And of course lastly but more importantly, do a thorough check when coming home, look EVERYWHERE on your body and your pets body. They enjoy warm, moist areas of your body but can be found anywhere.
Contact our clinic today if you have any further questions regarding these creepy crawlers and the risks they have to your pet.