Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America, and they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. As long as the temperature is above 4 degrees Celsius, ticks are active!
These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious – and sometimes deadly – diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. If you spot signs in your pet such as coughing, joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.
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There are two ways to keep your pet protected in case they come in contact with ticks: vaccination against Lyme disease, and usage of a tick preventative. Vaccination helps to protect your pet if they are bit by a tick infected with Lyme disease, preventing them from becoming infected as well. You can also protect your pet by keeping ticks off of them with a tick preventative. Most preventatives work by killing the tick before it has a chance to bite and/or infect your pet. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes.
Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. The following video from one of our veterinarians, Dr. Calli Thompson, reviews how to look for and remove ticks from your pet: