How to Keep Your Pet Safe for Tick Season
Tick season is upon us and if you haven’t already, you may start finding these eight-legged insects on your pet.
Ticks are small, brown and round and although they may look fairly harmless these critters that feed on blood can cause some serious problems. They can transmit diseases like Lyme Disease which can make both pets and people sick. As well they can be carriers of the far less common disease Anaplasmosis.
There are several kinds of ticks found in Manitoba. Although Wood Ticks are bigger, puffy and more common, they do not carry Lyme disease. Deer Ticks are the culprit for this disease and often much harder to find because how small they are.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is highly treatable in dogs. Some symptoms to watch for if you suspect your dog may have contracted Lyme disease are fever, sore joints, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. Because of the fast-moving nature of this infection, if you see these symptoms in your dog bring it in right away so it can be tested for Lyme disease and treated immediately.
To avoid any kind of disease or infection you’ll want to prevent your pet’s exposure to ticks and there are several ways to do this.
You can limit your animals contact with wooded areas or long grass because this is where your pet is most likely to come across them. Spring and summer are a time we often take our pets to the cottage or take them hiking in the woods, both which have a chance of them coming home with ticks.
Make sure you’re performing thorough checks for ticks if your pet has been exposed to places like these and remove all ticks. The best time to remove ticks is before they have a chance to attach, but if they’ve already latched on then dispose of them with tweezers to avoid direct contact with the insect. When checking your dog for ticks, take a look at their ears, underbellies, eyes, and groin because ticks tend to latch in the areas with less fur.
You can also use veterinary approved tick prevention products like Bravecto. Oral tick medication for dogs can be taken like a dog treat and won’t repel ticks from going on your dog but will kill off the ticks if they bite. These medications are extremely effective in killing off fleas and ticks and preventing mange. You can give your dog one that lasts for a month or another option that provides protection for three months instead.
This is the time of year owners should also be looking out for worms, which are transmitted through feces. When the weather is warmer, more animals tend to go outside, and your pet can come across more feces that could expose them to worms. We recommend making sure you give your dog both a tick medication and a deworming medicine to prevent either of these things from happening.