Tick Time

Summertime is a great season to explore the outdoors with your canine companion or when your feline wanders outdoors catching butterflies. However, danger lurks around every corner when you’re playing in the forest, coastal scrub, high brush or grasslands. Ticks abound this time of year, which can carry diseases including Lyme’s Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Ticks are little insects, usually black or brown and about 1/4-inch in length. They can be very dangerous for your Dog's health. The Tick buries his head under the skin and starts sucking blood. It will grow bigger and bigger: a Tick feeds off the blood of your dog. Ticks can transmit diseases and the bite can result in a bacterial infection and progresses in three stages and may affect various areas of the body at different times. Although some pets may show no symptoms, most animals share certain general symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite and fever. Joint pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints may also occur. The area of affected joints may feel warm to the touch.

Left untreated, Lyme disease can affect the heart, kidneys and nervous system. Paralysis, blindness and/or respiratory failure can occur. Early diagnosis and vaccination can prevent such complications, and early tick removal can prevent the disease. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.

The good news is the best solution is prevention! Treat your dogs and cats with a safe topical flea and tick medicine - these are effective once the tick or flea gets close to the animal’s skin. And get used to picking ticks off your dog’s coat after each outdoor excursion. Beware! Ticks can drop off your pet and crawl down onto you and your family in an instant. If this should happen, human’s treatment can be far more reaching into the danger zone. Seek treatment if you get bit by a tick.

Ticks are the number one vector of infectious disease in the United States. As Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Talk to your veterinarian about the best flea and tick control for your pets.