Lyme disease… it really ticks us off!
September 20th, 2017
Ticks are a growing problem in our area. The main problem they pose for us and our pets is the diseases that they carry, the most common and dangerous one being Lyme disease. Ticks are a concern anytime that the weather is above 4 degrees Celsius. They are a concern not only for your dog but for you and your family as well. They are found in wooded areas and anywhere with long grass. We recommend checking your dog all over after they come in from being outside as well as checking yourself for any ticks that may have latched on to you. It is a good precaution to tuck your pants into your socks if you are going out for a walk on a trail or anywhere with long grasses so that the ticks can’t latch on to your skin. If you do happen to find a tick on your dog or yourself it is best to remove it as soon as you can. Luckily, removing them is simple. Use a clean pair of tweezers or a tick removing device to grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Have a firm grip on the tick but not too firm as to crush it, this could leave part of the tick embedded in the dog’s skin which can lead to infection. The next step is to pull the tick straight out, using slow and steady pressure. Once you have removed the tick, clean the area well with rubbing alcohol. Watch for any redness or irritation around the area for the next few days and if you’re concerned book an appointment with your veterinarian. Place the tick in alcohol to kill it. You can take the tick into your veterinarian if you would like it to be identified.
The two best things you can do for your pet if you are worried about ticks and Lyme disease is to use tick prevention as well as making sure your pet gets the Lyme vaccine. Tick prevention usually comes in the form of a chewable tablet. There are different brands of tick prevention – some are effective for 30 days and some are effective for 90 days. The goal with these tablets is to kill ticks before they are able to transmit diseases. Whereas the Lyme vaccine protects your pet from getting Lyme disease. For our high risk dogs that are going on trails daily to weekly, that are playing in long grass, and/or go to the cottage and camping on a regular basis we recommend both the vaccine and prevention. If your dog is an apartment dog and never is in long grass or on trails and just goes outside for the purpose of peeing and pooping each day neither prevention or the vaccine is probably necessary. If your dog is somewhere in the middle of high risk and no risk the safest thing to do would be to use both prevention and the vaccine however choosing just prevention would be reasonable in this case as well.
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