Ticks are running rampant in our area this year--and doing their usual job of spreading disease to our pets and us. They are all around us--in the woods, on the beaches, visiting your garden, and hanging out in the yard. Tick borne diseases appear to be on the upswing, and none of us want these little creatures on us or our pets or in our homes. What are some of the ways you can help your pets (and your family) stay protected?
First-be sure to use year round flea and tick prevention. Even though it may be colder in our winters, ticks and fleas are not taking a holiday. Consistent prevention will provide the best coverage for your pet. There are many different options out there from collars to topicals to oral medications. Please talk to us to find the best choice for your situation. Make sure you purchase your flea and tick prevention from us or from an authorized veterinary pharmacy. There have been many reports of counterfeit items being sold on line through non certified retailers--these counterfeit items may be harmful to your pets.
Second-Check yourself and your pets daily after outdoor activities. if you see a tick on your pet, remove it immediately with tweezers so that it does not have an opportunity to transmit disease to your pet. It is important to use tweezers so you make sure that you are able to grasp the head and detach it fully from your pet.
Finally, make sure that your dog receives annual testing for tick borne diseases (and heartworm). Early detection of these diseases can help prevent long term problems-tick borne diseases left untreated can cause serious illness and death for dogs. Please ask us if you have any concerns about your pet's health or if you have seen many ticks on your pets.
If you want to understand more about the life cycle of these critters, click the button:
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Nancy Drumm is the general manager of Capital Vets, a family of four AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals in the Capital District of New York.