TICKS! Education, Prevention, & Resources
There is an abundance of information about ticks that already exist, so the objective of today's post isn't to provide you with cutting edge information about ticks and prevention, we want to provide you with quick key information and a list of resources that you can dive further into if you so choose.
Why is it so important we protect our pets and ourselves from ticks?
Tick can carry a variety of diseases that can make you and your pets very sick, and left untreated can have fatal results.
Some of the more common tick borne diseases is Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonellosis, Anaplasmosis, and Hepatozoonosis to list a few.
Because these diseases are so dangerous, you will want to check your dog daily for ticks, especially if they have spent any length of time outdoors, even if you have them on a preventative. Here is a chart from the CDC showing key areas to check for ticks..
What are the symptoms to look for if I remove a tick from my dog?
Make sure that you pay close attention to your pet for at least the next 10 days following the removal of a tick. Remember that your pet can't tell you if they aren't feeling well or if it hurts to walk, so make sure that you are observant of their behaviors. Some symptoms to look for are :
Lethargy Limited Movement
Pale Gums Poor Appetite
Dark Urine Stiffness of Joints
For more information about diseases and symptoms check out this link
There are so many options for tick prevention and easier now than it has ever been to purchase preventives that actually work without having to make a trip to your veterinarians office, and even if you choose to start using a particular preventive based off your veterinarians recommendation, in most cases you can repurchase these treatments with online retailers like www.chewy.com or www.1800petmeds.com or at big box pet supply stores like Petsmart, or Petco.
These kinds of retailers and veterinarians can offer a topical options which may be drops, collars, and dusts, or an oral medication like a pill or chew.
It is absolutely necessary to protect your pet from these pests however, some treatments may not be as effective for your dog as others and there is a possibility for side effects associated with these treatments because of the varying of body chemistry and preexisting conditions. When starting a new treatment, beware of the side effects to look for. If your pet was to have a reaction, discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian.
With so many options it can be confusing on what product to use so I recommend doing research and reading other pet parent reviews. Not all reviews are going to be a positive reflection of a product, however if the majority or positive it is likely the treatment is safe and effective. If you still aren't sure what to use, you can always consult with your veterinarian.
You may also want to consider treating your yard to help with tick prevention. You can purchase flea and tick yard treatment at most big box home improvement stores, and I have personally had success with these treatments, and not only does it protect my pets, but it also helps protect any humans spending time in the yard. Make sure with these chemicals that you are following the directions for application and the amount of time you need to wait before allowing your pets outside.
Is it going to be a bad tick year?
The most influential factors on whether we have a bad tick year or not is determined by the weather. It is probably no surprise that longer summers and milder winters contribute to an abundance of ticks during the summer, but you can also blame the rain. Ticks multiple the best during warm wet climates, so if you have had a mild winter followed by a wet warm spring, then you can expect that the tick population will be a large concern for your pets.
There is a wonderful resource here that give great information about tick types broken down my region. Really great if you're looking for that kind of deep dive on more than just risk and prevention of ticks.
It's doesn't matter what solution to tick prevention you choose as long as you choose something. Make sure that you are protecting your pet and yourself. The financial commitment is well worth the peace of mind you will have knowing your pet is protected.
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