This year, the prevalence of ticks is expected to be much higher than in the past. Ticks carry numerous diseases that can have long lasting effects on people and their pets. The difficulty with our pets, due to their beautiful, often long, coats, is that ticks are frequently not identified until they have been feeding for some time, possibly days. The length of a tick’s blood meal greatly increases the risk of disease transmission. Tick borne diseases take hours to be transmitted after the tick begins to take its blood meal, therefore if we can remove the tick or kill the tick before or shortly after it begins to take a blood meal we can prevent, or greatly reduce the risk of disease transmission.

At Dogwood Veterinary Clinic our canine patients get a routine screening every year for 3 of the most common tick borne diseases including Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Erlichia. Dogs are not our only pets affected by ticks, Cats are subject to tick borne diseases as well. Cytauxzoonosis, one of the diseases that can be transmitted to cats, can cause two different forms of disease, one of which is rapidly fatal. Ticks can transmit almost two dozen different diseases (that are known at this time) and these diseases are spreading all across the United States and are right in our back yards. Tick borne diseases have the potential to cause symptoms including, but not limited to the following: paralysis, fever, lethargy, inappetence, arthritis of multiple joints, and multiple organ dysfunction.

Your pet should be on an effective tick preventative and adulticide, this will aid in prevention of ticks taking long blood meals, decreasing the risk of acquiring a potentially life threating tick borne disease. There are a number of over the counter products that have been abused in their use which has led to drug resistance in the tick population. Efficacy of over the counter products now have severely decreased to no efficacy. There are a number of prescription products that are on the market that are greatly effective in killing the ticks within 8 hours of the tick taking a blood meal. Ticks are not just “gross” little creepy crawlers, but rather they are a vector of dangerous, possibly life threatening diseases that can greatly shorten your loved ones life. Please protect your four legged family members and talk to us at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic about what tick prevention is best for you and your pet.

Dogwood Veterinary Clinic