It seems like every year, we see more and more ticks. With the increase of ticks comes the increased risk of tick-borne diseases, not only for your dog, but for you as well.
In the past couple weeks, 2 pet owners have mentioned having doctors remove attached ticks from them. These pet owners did not even know they had a tick attached to them until their doctor said something!
We remove ticks from pets on average of once a week. Each time a tick attaches and feeds, there is a risk of transmitting a disease.
Common tick-borne illnesses in this region include Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis (aka E. canis) and Anaplasmosis. On average, Suburban Animal Clinic diagnosis 6-10 cases of tick-borne diseases every year. Last week, we diagnoses Anaplasmosis. A couple months ago, we even had a case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Most tick-borne diseases go undetected for months, sometimes even years. This goes for people and for pets. And the symptoms for many of these diseases are similar and can mimic other conditions, making it difficult to diagnose.
All dogs who receive a heartworm test at Suburban Animal Clinic are also tested for Lyme, E. Canis, and Anaplasmosis. It's a 4-in-1 blood test we do in our lab and we usually have the results before you leave. Many of our tick-borne illnesses were diagnosed from this test while the pets were asympatomatic, or without any symptoms. When necessary, we can send bloodwork to an outside lab to test for several tick-borne diseases, which is how we diagnosed the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It can take several months after a tick bite for tests to come back positive for disease.
Signs of tick-borne diseases include lameness, fever, swollen and painful joints, anorexia, vomiting/diarrhea, depression, and even kidney failure. You or your pet may exhibit one or more of these symptoms.
Treatment, when caught early, is antibiotics. The prognosis, or long term outcome of the disease, is better when caught early.
It is important to use tick prevention on your pet March-October in this region. Tick prevention will kill ticks before they can transmit disease. Suburban Animal Clinic recommends K9 Advantix II, a topical solution applied to the skin along the back once a month. This also protects your pet against fleas, of which we always see a sharp increase in numbers every fall. We also carry Seresto Flea/Tick collars for dogs sensitive to topicals.
If your cat is outdoors and you are concerned about ticks, you may use Frontline Plus for cats, or the Seresto Flea/Tick collar. Both are safe to use with heartworm prevention.
Be sure to take advantage of our current specials on tick products! These specials are offered only through your veterinarian (an incentive to buy from your vet!).
K9 Advantix II Buy a 6 pack, get 2 doses FREE
Frontlin Plus Buy a 3 pack, get 1 dose FREE
Seresto Collar purchases are eligible for a $20 REBATE
Be sure to take advantage of these and other specials to protect your pet before they end this fall!! Hurry in and stock up today!
Suburban Animal Clinic is located in