Parasite control helps protect your pet against harmful parasites causing lasting health issues. Parasites fall into two categories – internal and external. One of the most common external parasites we see in the area are ticks. Ensuring your pet is taking a monthly preventative is the best way to ensure they’re safeguarded against these parasites and many others.
What Are Ticks?
Ticks pose a risk for pets and people in Hamilton and throughout much of southern Ontario. Besides feeding on blood, ticks can also transmit serious diseases, some of which can potentially lead to long-term health issues. Around 900 tick species exist in the world, but fortunately, just a handful pose a danger to pets and people in our area. The main ticks we have in the area are black-legged (deer) ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks.
What disease can ticks transmit to pets?
Only black-legged ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (a type of bacteria) can transmit Lyme disease. Though many ticks in the area are infected, it’s still important to stay vigilant and knowledgeable about how the disease can impact pets. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please contact us immediately at (905) 690-0040. If you notice your pet has a fever, lameness, difficulty breathing, vomiting and/or diarrhea, they could have Lyme disease. Other signs include:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Sensitivity to touch
- Stiff, swollen, or painful joints
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Weight or appetite loss
How can we keep our pets protected?
For many pets, we recommend starting tick preventives as early as March. By this time of year, we’ve usually already removed several ticks from our pet patients. Parasiticides, when used regularly as recommended and per label instructions are another extremely effective way of controlling ticks on your pet. In addition, it’s important to have our team prescribe other preventatives, like tablets or injections, that provide broad spectrum protection against a range of other harmful parasites.