With tick season upon us, we must take extra care to protect our pets (and ourselves) from these pesky insects. Our pets warm bodies offer the perfect feeding ground for ticks and if not protected these blood sucking mites can cause a wide range of health problems including one of the most prominent tick borne diseases- Lyme’s disease, which can lead to joint, muscle and neurological damage and Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, which causes low blood platelet counts and increased bleeding.
The best way to manage tick control for your pet is through prevention. Talk with your veterinarian about the right product for your pet. Most veterinary approved products will come in the form of chewable monthly pills, shampoos, collars and topical treatments. If you own more than one pet, make sure to treat them at the same time. Do not use the same product on your dog as your cat and vice versa, unless the label specifically states that it is safe for both dogs and cats.
Ticks live in areas of high grass and natural debris so be certain to clear leaves and keep areas around your home where your pet(s) roam mowed and trimmed.
Getting into the habit of regularly checking your dog (even if they are taking a flea and tick preventative) and yourself for ticks after walks through the woods or grassy settings is another step in prevention. These little mites can attach quickly and can be very difficult to spot. Keep a careful eye on the following areas of your pet: under the legs, in between their toes and pads of their feet, lips and gums, around eyes and ears (and inside ears), near the anus, and under the tail and around the neck area. Pet your dog thoroughly to feel for any bumps that could potentially be a tick.
If you do find a tick on your pet you will need to take immediate steps to remove it. If the tick is not removed right away you are opening a gateway for a secondary tick borne illness to present itself. Make sure to keep a pair of fine tweezers on hand for this process. Be sure to remove the tick by the head, this is the closest part of the tick to the surface of skin. If you are unable to remove the tick or can’t get the whole tick, contact your vet.
Taking control and being proactive in keeping your pet up to date on preventatives and controlling environmental factors when able will be the best course of action in protecting your pet and keeping them safe from tick borne illnesses. To earn more on finding your “furever” friend, visit: premierpups.com.