In the Hamilton area, deer ticks are one of the most prevalent parasites that affect pets not only in the spring but year-round. However, you can keep your pets safe from these harmful pests with the help of our veterinary team.
Why are deer ticks harmful?
Also known as black-legged ticks, deer ticks are a type of parasite that feed on your pet’s blood. They carry many illnesses such as tick fever and Lyme disease. Up to 40% of deer ticks in Southern Ontario carry Lyme disease. Fatigue, weight loss, lameness, and swollen lymph nodes are just some of the symptoms of Lyme disease in pets. If left untreated, a deer tick infestation can cause serious health complications in your pet. Fortunately, Lyme disease in pets is treatable with antibiotics and other therapies.
How can I protect my pet from deer ticks?
There are a few things you can do to protect your pet:
1. Ensure your pet is on a tick preventive medication and that they do not fall behind on their dosing schedule. There are a few options available, and our team can help you decide which is most suited to your pet’s needs.
2. When you take your dog for a walk, try to keep them on a leash as much as possible, and keep them away from leaf litter, wooded areas, and tall grass (where ticks wait for pets and other animals to jump onto).
3. Conduct a thorough “tick check” as soon as you arrive home, remembering to inspect all areas of your pet’s body (back of their ears, groin, etc.).
4. If you notice a tick, please remove it right away and notify us. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease to your pet in as quickly as 24 hours, so it is important to remove them right away.
What is the proper way to remove deer ticks from a dog?
If you are unsure or do not feel comfortable removing a tick, you can ask our team for assistance. However, removing a tick can easily be done with a Tick Twister.
- Place your Tick Twister as close to the skin as possible and grasp the tick.
- Firmly lift the tick upwards ensuring you completely remove all of its body parts, especially the mouth. Leaving any part behind can cause irritation.
- Don’t forget to disinfect the tick bite and your hands after.
If you have any questions related to protecting your pet from ticks, please contact us at 905-690-0040.