Monthly Archives:: March 2016
April is a great month to play outside, whether it’s on the Farm, at a park, or in the backyard. But look out for ticks! Donna, the Dogs On The Farm pet groomer, has already started to see dogs coming in for their regular grooming appointments with ticks. When she spots a tick she removes it with a tick spoon and gives the dog a flea and tick bath.
New Jersey has several common tick borne diseases that can be spread to dogs and humans. We have three types of ticks that carry diseases: Black-legged “deer” ticks, Lone star ticks, and the American dog tick. Disease spread by these ticks include: Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mt. spotted fever. Read more about these diseases.
The best way to keep your pets safe from tick borne diseases is to prevent the ticks from biting in the first place. Keep your dog well-groomed and brush him out well when he comes in from a walk or from playing outside. It can be difficult to spot ticks especially in a thick coated dog, so a chemical barrier is a good way to repel ticks and prevent bites. Frontline or other topical treatments, flea and tick collars, and monthly pills can all be effective. It is important to discuss with your vet the best tick prevention for your pet and your lifestyle. Be aware that cats are very sensitive to chemicals so make sure to only use treatments approved for cats on cats. There are also treatments, both chemical and natural that can be used on your yard if you notice ticks outside. There is a vaccination available for Lyme disease that you can request at your pet’s yearly exam.
Removing a tick is tricky but can usually be accomplished at home and does not require a vet visit. The best method for removal is to use tweezers to carefully grab the tick close to the skin, then gently but firmly pull straight up, removing the tick. Clean the area and your hands and tweezers afterward with soap and water. If your pet has been bitten by a tick or if you expect he could have been, watch for symptoms of tick borne diseases, which can start anytime up to a few weeks after exposure. Watch for lethargy, lameness, fever, lack of appetite, or other signs that your dog is feeling under the weather.
Most tick borne illnesses are detectable by blood test and treatable with a long course of antibiotics so don’t panic if it turns out your pet has contracted Lyme Disease.
April is a great month to play outside, whether it’s on the Farm, at a park, or in the backyard. But look out for ticks! Donna, the Dogs On The Farm pet groomer, has already started to see dogs coming in for their regular grooming appointments with ticks. When she spots a tick she removes it with… Read more »