Hello all my favorite humans! Its me, Purr’ll again! I am so glad to hear that nice weather may be around the corner – aren’t you? I miss all that sunshine. But of course, there are some other things besides sun and warmth that come out in the spring. You guessed it! BUGS. My people at Blue Cross Animal Hospital tell me that the biggest problems with bugs are that they spread disease – and the bugs that we are most worried about are mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Everyone in Ontario knows about mosquitoes and fleas – but some still do not know about ticks! That’s right, they’re here!!! It’s no longer a “my dog and I went South and he got it there” problem. It is now in our own back yard – literally. Ticks have been carried north by migratory birds and have been spreading because of climate change. Ticks feed on blood – and most ticks don’t care who their next meal comes from – they will feed on both humans and animals.
When ticks feed, they bury their mouth completely in the skin and suck the blood of their host. That is more than a little disturbing! Talk about modern day vampirism! They feed until they are full, then they regurgitate and feed some more. Some species will stay attached for several days – during this time, they can infect their host with some very dangerous bacteria and viruses that they carry in their saliva. In our area, we are mostly worried about DEER TICKS https://bcahkitchener.com/pet-health-resources/pet-health-articles/articles/?rid=372 and https://bcahkitchener.com/pet-health-resources/pet-health-articles/articles/?rid=6878), also called “black-legged ticks”, because they carry LYME DISEASE (https://bcahkitchener.com/pet-health-resources/pet-health-articles/articles/?rid=12629), which is transmissible to both pets AND people. But my Blue Cross Animal Hospital Team has told me there are other kinds of ticks that can be around as well.
As a way to help us identify some of the more problem areas in our vicinity, researchers at the University of Guelph have designed a specific site to help us track ticks! If you’d like more info – and lets face it, who doesn’t? – or if you have found a tick yourself or on your pet, check out this link for more information: https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/news-events/news/pet-tick-tracker#.WUKrEJcqCtY.email
Humans are always asking my Blue Cross Animal Hospital Team where do you find ticks? Wooded areas, trails and areas with tall grass, camping sites, and cottage country as well, although, thanks to their hosts and more climate weather, some have even been found in people’s backyards! Ticks really do not recognize boundaries. Be sure to check you pets and yourself closely when you come inside after being outdoors. If you find a tick remove it carefully, including the legs and the mouthparts that get buried under the skin. If you need help removing the tick from your pet, contact your Veterinarian. Ticks start looking for a meal as soon as the temperature reaches 4 degrees celsius, which in our area can be right now! It’s important that you contact your Veterinarian about what tick products would be best for your pets. At Blue Cross Animal Hospital we also discuss flea , and heartworm prevention https://bcahkitchener.com/services/heartworm-prevention/ with our clients as this season is starting in April or May and runs through to November.
My awesome Team here at Blue Cross Animal Hospital want to remind everyone to give your pets their flea, tick and Heartworm medication on time! If you find a tick, please keep it and bring it into the clinic for identification! Oh, and my mommy says that if you know where you may have picked up the tick, please go to the tick tracker and fill in the quick form to help us get a better idea of all the hot spots in the area!
Stay Safe Everyone!