What are ticks?
Commonly thought of as insects, ticks are actually arachnids (same family as spiders and scorpions). Ticks cannot jump or fly but will climb onto blades of tall grass or shrubs and grab onto an animal as they walk past.
Why should we be worried about ticks?
Over the past few years, ticks have become more and more prevalent in our area, and we are seeing them in places where pets had not previously encountered them. Besides being a nuisance, ticks carry disease and can infect both our pets and ourselves. Serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, are starting to be diagnosed in our pets with more frequency than in the past.
What can we do?
The best defence against ticks is prevention. When possible, it is recommended to avoid areas where ticks are known to be. If an animal is in an area where ticks may be, daily skin checks are recommended to identify ticks early. Monthy preventative medications are available and effective. As well, yearly testing for tick-borne diseases and vaccinations are recommended.
What do I do if I find a tick on my pet?
If you see a tick and are uncomfortable removing it, call your veterinarian and have them remove it for you. To remove a tick, grasp the tick as close as you can to the skin, and with a pair of tweezers gently but firmly pull the tick away from the skin. Do not squeeze, burn or apply anything to the tick before removing it.
Call us to get your pet started on Tick and other parasite prevention today!
Written by Talbot Animal Clinic