Spring is in full swing and so is tick season, so protect your pet from ticks and Lyme Disease! Ticks are found in areas where there is long grass, wildlife, and water. They also lie in wait where there are semiannual “blooms” or increases in animal and human populations every spring and fall. These blind insects spend much of their life waiting for a passing pet or human to drop down on and feed in order to reproduce.
Ticks can carry a number of infections but only Lyme Disease can be vaccinated against, and the vaccination requires two injections about a month apart. Lyme Disease in pets is more prevalent around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It’s spread by ticks on songbirds which frequent those lakes, but does show up elsewhere, as ticks fall off birds in transit.
Other diseases carried by ticks include:
- Ehrlichiosis: a bacterial illness with flu-like symptoms
- Anaplasmosis: infection of the white blood cells or blood platelets
- Tick Paralysis: caused by a neurotoxin from the tick’s salivary gland
- Haemobartonellosis: spread by fleas and ticks, causes feline anemia
- American Canine Hepatozoonosis: affects dogs in the southern United States
- Babesiosis: Commonly affects dogs in southern U.S. but also seen in the Northeast
- Tularemia: more severe in cats, also spread by fleas (and eating infected rodents)
- Cytauxzoonosis: affects cats in the southern United States
Protect Your Pet from Ticks
It is wise to use a topical product which prevents ticks if your pet frequents areas with water and long grass. Since no product provides 100% protection, be sure to check your cat or dog for ticks daily by feeling around the armpits, ears and neck and other warm areas preferred by ticks. However, you must be very careful — some products that are safe for dogs are lethal for cats. Call Carriage Crossing Animal Hospital in Waterloo today, so we can set up an appointment where we can help you choose the right tick prevention for your pet’s size, species, and lifestyle!