Tick season is here!
Clients have started to report ticks being found on their dogs already this year! The mild winter and beautiful spring are bringing out these critters earlier than usual.
Ticks are most active in spring and fall months. Ticks are mostly found in tall grasses, shrubs and wooded areas. Ticks are small external parasites that are about the size of a sesame seed. They attach to our pets and engorge on blood. If you find a tick on your pet grasp the tick with forceps as close to the skin as possible and gently pull it off, do not twist. Wipe the bite site with an antiseptic or rubbing alcohol. Ticks can carry Lyme disease so its best to wear gloves when removing ticks or wash thoroughly with antibacterial soap. If you do not feel comfortable removing the tick yourself call the clinic and we can make a time to remove it for you. Never try to suffocate a tick with Vaseline, nail polish, or burning it with a match as this may cause the tick to spew an irritant (that may be carrying Lyme disease) into your pet.
Ticks can cause tick paralysis, which is an ascending paralysis caused by the absorption of toxins from the saliva of an engorging female. A single tick is capable of causing paralysis, yet many can be present and not cause paralysis at all. The first sign is in-coordination of the hindquarters, then the forequarters, neck, and finally to respiratory muscles, with fatal consequences. If your dog is suddenly showing any symptoms, search their body for any ticks. The head and neck area is one of their favorite spots, but they can be located anywhere. Removal of the tick results in rapid recovery.
Prevention of your pet getting ticks can be accomplished by avoiding tall grass, shrubs, or wooded areas. For many people this is not practical so there are products available to keep ticks away. We sell two prescription products: Revolution, which will kill a tick in 1-3 days and Advantix, which actually repells ticks off your dog.
FINALLY a Tick Preventative
Advantix: Fairly new to the market, Advantix is the only product in Canada that will prevent a tick from biting your dog. Exciting news for those dogs that are in the orchards or the woods a lot! It is toxic to cats so if your cat and dog are close and groom each other it is not recommended. It only prevents ticks and does not prevent heartworm or fleas. Therefore, we recommend it for those high risk dogs in spring and fall months when ticks are at their worst (ex: April, May, September and October). It is a monthly dose sold in packages of 4.