You know what ticks are. You’ve heard about them before from your Markham vet, but never seen any in your day-to-day life.
Actually, ticks are more than poster pictures that veterinary clinics stick on the wall. They’re more than a nuisance. And they are active when the temperatures are colder. They are now coming out in full force and only during severe frost will they be gone. As soon as it warms to 5 degrees C again, they will come out looking for food.
They are not only annoying and disgusting but cause quite serious diseases in dog and humans.
If you’re not careful, they could jeopardize your pet’s health and comfort.
In 2016, Enna Hughes, a veterinarian from Richmond Hill, found herself in an ugly situation. Her beloved dog was sick. Poor Molly suffered from pinkeye, lethargy, and a bunch of other problems.
The reason for her suffering? A tick infected Molly with Lyme disease. Hughes believed the tick originated from Thornhill Woods, and that’s not all. The tick may have latched onto the Labrador through her paw pads.
“Well,” you tell yourself, “I don’t walk my dog through the woods, and it’s not like I go camping all the time.”
Our veterinary clinic wants you to know that your dog doesn’t have to go anywhere near the woods to get a tick or two. We have seen dogs getting tick bites in the park around TooGood pond and even at Highgate Park in Markham.
Just because Fido spends most of his time in the house or front yard, that doesn’t mean he’s completely safe.
When everything is going well, it’s easy to let your guard down. Don’t let this happen.
In previous blogs http://unionvet.ca/2017/04/11/lyme-disease/ and http://unionvet.ca/2017/03/24/march-is-national-tick-awareness-month/ , we told you that deer, rats, and other wild animals can carry ticks. Even a pile of leaves can hide a tick.
They wander all over Canada, but some areas are particular risky. According to Public Health Ontario, risk areas for Lyme disease include Ottawa, Cornwall, Brockville, Westport, and now our Rouge River System and Aurora. https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/6500432-updated-dangerous-ticks-found-in-aurora-other-york-region-areas-already-this-spring/
So how can you protect your pet (and your entire family) from ticks? How do you avoid the stress and misery that Lyme disease brings?
First, let’s talk about what Lyme disease is. To put it simply, it’s a bacteria-based sickness spread through tick bites. It causes a lot of symptoms and is more severe in humans. Not every tick you see has this infection, but you shouldn’t take chances. Preventing Lyme disease and exposure to ticks takes attentiveness, dedication, and a little help from a Markham vet.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Clean up leaves and other debris, trim bushes, and mow your lawn frequently. Give ticks fewer places to hide.
- When hiking with your dog, keep them on the trail with you. If they get away from you and run off into a wooded area, it’s very important to check them for ticks once you arrive at your home.
- Apply a special medication between your dog’s shoulders. It must be applied on the back of his body, not the front. Allow it to dry before you touch the area. Or give them a medicated “cookie” that kills ticks for 12 weeks. Be sure to talk to a veterinarian for more information. They’ll be able to lay out your options and help you pick what works best for your family.
- Ask your vet to perform a tick check during every annual exam.
Ticks bite not only dogs, but also cats. Luckily your Markham veterinarians will have a new and very effective product to kill ticks on cats too.
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Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham
Fear Free Certified Practitioner
Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.
Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.). We pride ourselves to provide cost effective veterinary medicine and give you options for treatments. Some may think our services as cheap, but our goal is to give good value.
Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.