Beware the Tiny, but Mighty, Tick
With warmer temperatures, the outdoors is coming alive with springtime beauty. But it’s also alive with parasitic insects like ticks. Ticks are known as “external parasites” that hop onto a passing host and feed on their blood. Unfortunately, they are also the leading carriers of vector-borne diseases (diseases caused by parasites) only second to mosquitoes.
Diseases, like Lyme disease, are transmitted through the tick’s saliva during a bite. The toxins, secretions and organisms in the saliva transmit the disease to the host. It is not the bite itself that infects the host. But, an infection only occurs after a tick has bitten and been attached to the host for more than 18-24 hours. So always check your dog (and yourself) immediately after being outside to find and remove any ticks.
What You Need to Know
• Lyme disease is transmitted through the deer tick.
• Ticks carrying Lyme disease are transported by deer and other wildlife and can show up anywhere including the woods, tall grassy areas, shrubs and even your own yard.
• Ticks are common in the spring through the fall.
• Not all dogs will actually get Lyme disease even after being exposed; have your vet perform a test that differentiates exposure from infection before administering antibiotics.
Lyme Disease: The Symptoms
• Loss of appetite
• Sensitivity to touch
• Difficulty breathing
• Walking with an arched back
• Joint inflammation and pain
• Difficulty in moving or walking, favoring one leg (can come and go and move from one leg to another)
• Potentially more serious health challenges for dogs can include kidney problems and heart or nervous system issues from an untreated infection
A Note about Cats:
Tick-borne diseases are uncommon in cats (possibly due to their constant grooming which can prohibit a tick from successfully attaching and transmitting a disease). Cats usually don’t get sick from Lyme disease, even after exposure. But they can get an often-fatal tick infection called cytauxzoonosis (known as bob cat fever which is often fatal), so always check your cat for ticks.
Lyme Disease: Prevention is Always Best
1. Pharmaceutical Tick Repellants
While there are many pharmaceutical tick repellants on the market, it’s always important to weigh the potential side effects from toxic chemicals against your dog’s optimal health.
Talk to your veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccine for dogs in high-risk areas. (Note: The vaccine can cause Lyme disease symptoms and potential autoimmune disease from sending the dog’s immune system into overdrive.) Caution: The vaccine does not prevent the tick from attaching to the dog, so a topical tick repellent must also be used.
3. Natural Tick Prevention
You can always buy commercial sprays that are natural for your dog, but there are also many, easy-to-make home remedies:
• Fresh Garlic (add to food)
• Apple Cider Vinegar (add to food/water)
• Tick Repellant Powder with Neem and Yarrow
• Tick Organic Shampoo (add several drops of Palo Santo Essential Oil)
• Citrus Spray Repellant
• Learn more at Dogs Naturally Magazine
As always, prevention is the best remedy. By protecting both yourself and your beloved K9, you can enjoy the great outdoors together! Come by and check out our Natural Tick Remedies!
We Groom Both Felines & Canines!
When we brush, bathe & dry your pets, we are always on the lookout for these pests.
We tend to find ticks underneath matted & packed undercoat, making regular grooming a health benefit to your pet too!
For all your grooming needs, contact
the Ken Caryl Pet Spa at 720-981-7387