When it comes to protecting your pets, we at Gull River Veterinary always recommend prevention.
There are a variety of options for prevention from topical to oral treatments. We find the oral medication a favourite as it is given like a treat, and who doesn’t love treats? In our area we have seen a rise in ticks over the years and they are showing no signs of slowing down! Whenever the temperature reaches the zero mark its game time for those critters.
Do you live in a wooded area, or a place with lots of leaf litter, or around lots of tall grass? Those are a tick’s favourite place to hang out! Depending on your situation you may want to consider year-round treatment, but we always recommend starting as early March. The tick season runs from March/April to November, even December if its warm enough.
Out for a walk and your furry pal comes home with a tick latched on? Its always important to be careful when removing ticks, as squeezing them can actually release the disease they may carry. We are always around to pull those little guys off but a good thing to have at home would be a tick twister.
Once that guy is off you can always bring it in to the clinic and the staff can help identify what kind of tick it is. There are many different kinds of ticks, and they can carry different tick-borne diseases. One in our area to watch for is the Blacklegged (Deer) Tick. This tick is a carrier of Lyme disease. Once your tick is identified there is then the discussion of having your pet in come back 4 weeks post bite to have a 4DX blood test. This test can detect for Lyme disease as well as Heartworm.
We recommend having a 4DX test done once a year to ensure that there is no Heartworm or Lyme disease at the beginning of the flea and tick season, before beginning your treatment. It also helps give you peace of mind if you are ever worried that a tick may have been missed.
What’s Heartworm? Well, this is a parasite that is transferred by mosquitos during the warmer months. Its life cycle is much longer so when we test for it, we are actually backtracking to the previous summer season. When thinking about your prevention keep Heartworm season in mind. This typically runs from June to November, but this can depend on when the mosquitos decide to come out. The clinic has had a Heartworm positive case in our area just last year. The treatment is long and the patient is recovering well, but will need to remain on Heartworm prevention year-round. There are some great options for prevention and if you’re a snow bird that likes to fly south for the winter with your pets, then it should be taken year-round. The southern states, especially Florida, have high cases for Heartworm.
With anything regarding your pet’s health, it is always important to ask questions. We at Gull River Veterinary are committed to quality care and are always there to help. Calling the clinic to speak with us is a great way to get your prevention started.
– The Gull River Veterinary Team