As the weather warms up, ticks are reappearing in Ontario. Here is the tick prevention information you need to know to protect your animals.
What are ticks?
Ticks are members of the spider family and are strong biters. They are attracted to three things: body motion, body heat, and carbon dioxide. Ticks are ground-dwellers, so they jump from low shrubbery, or the ground to latch onto you or your animal. They are usually found on the body parts of your animal that sit closest to the ground: neck, head, around the ears, feet, the front part of the chest, and the underside of the chest.
Ticks can transmit diseases to our furry friends. For example, infected blacklegged ticks who attach to our furry friends may transmit the bacteria that can cause Lyme Disease. While the tick is attached, the bacteria can pass into the animal’s blood stream over a 24 to 48-hour period (or longer). Not all exposed dogs will go on to develop illness. Dogs that develop clinical signs of Lyme Disease may have a range of clinical signs such as fever, lameness, swollen joints, reduced appetite and/or kidney disease. These clinical signs may take a few months to develop, and your veterinarian can support your furry friend with a treatment plan.
How to prevent
There are many ways to prevent your animal from having ticks. Reducing tick exposure by keeping your furry friends on leash and avoiding tall grass and heavily wooded areas can help. Performing frequent tick checks of your furry friends after walks and outdoor time and removing ticks promptly is also important. Speak with your veterinarian to learn about what tick prevention products are best for your furry friends.
How to remove ticks
Removing ticks improperly can cause many problems. It is best to consult your veterinarian to ensure proper removal of the tick is done and to develop a preventative program for your furry friend. Some tick products kill ticks before they can infect your companion animal. There are also topical options, but if considering one of those products, it’s important to rely on your veterinarian to help you use it properly.
How to safely remove ticks from your dog
For information on other bugs you need to be aware of this summer, read our blog here.
Thank you for looking after these animals
Thank you for looking after these animals — I would love to have them all in my house!