In recent news, the tick crisis has been gaining a lot of attention. Not only are we finding there are more ticks than previously thought, but also that they are now carrying more diseases widespread than ever. This is resulting in the number of tick-borne related illnesses reaching record highs. Over 1,000,000 dogs tested positive for Lyme last year and over 300,000 were seriously ill when diagnosed. Unfortunately, the North-East had the majority share of those cases. This means it is in the grass by our curb, at our dog parks, and in your backyard. If your dog can get it, so can you.
Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe from ticks:
Flea & tick preventatives – In today’s market there are a variety of products that can kill ticks and fleas once they bite your pet. At MVH we offer a variety of both topical and oral products for both dogs and cats. Be careful when buying products that are specific for only dogs or cats as they can be toxic if improperly used. Also beware of fake online products or products improperly stored. They will not be effective or worse toxic and you may find that despite use, your animal has contracted a tick or flea-borne illness that is now making them devastatingly ill. Also for those using Bravecto, keep in mind that although it kills fleas for 3 months it does not kill ticks for 3 months.
Deterrants – There are a number of products licensed that will deter and keep fleas and ticks off your pet. At MVH we offer all-natural deterrents that can be used as needed. They can also be used on a number of other species (cats, dogs, horses, goats), including yourself. Together both preventatives and deterrents will ensure that during this flea and tick season your pet will be as safe as can be.
Take care of your lawn – Proper lawn maintenance can help keep ticks at bay. Keeping the grass cut and trees and bushes trimmed leaves less real estate for ticks which means you will have fewer in your yard. Also be sure to clean up leaf piles as ticks love to hide in them. Areas with severe amounts of ticks might benefit from a lawn treatment; just be careful as many of these chemicals can be harmful to your dog or cat. Be sure you check with either your local veterinarian or exterminator before using any new products.
Check your pet – Check your pet daily for ticks especially after being outside. A tick can hop on your pet and disappear before you even notice. Be sure to thoroughly check-in between their paws, the groin, the armpits, and in and around their ears. Although they may be elsewhere those are the most common sites. Many pet owners keep their pets’ hair shorter during summer months making it easier to spot a tick.
Diseases — The following list of diseases are the most commonly transmitted via ticks and fleas.
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
If you have found a tick on your pet or are interested in learning more about the different types of preventatives please contact Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 or visit us at http://www.meadowlandsvethospital.com