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Tick Season

It is that time of year when all of the creepy crawlies, like fleas and ticks, come out to play! Are you ready? Keep reading for all of your tick basics.

So what are ticks? Ticks are actually arachnids and are members of the same family as spiders. They move around on other animals.

What do they eat? Ticks feed on blood and can consume very large amounts for their size, when found on an animal in large numbers they can actually be quite dangerous and have even be known to take down a Moose!!

Where do they live? Ticks generally live in areas with overgrown vegetation, tall grasses, or large amounts of leaf litter or grass clippings. Although they can also make appearances in city parks and back yards. It is a good idea to check over your pets often to ensure they have not picked up a tick during their day.  

How should I remove a tick? Use blunt tweezers, or a tick key, and disposable gloves to handle the tick. Try to avoid handling the tick directly and pull straight out with steady, even pressure to avoid leaving parts of the tick behind. Give the area a good wash with antibacterial soap. If you are not comfortable removing the tick yourself stop by your local veterinary clinic for assistance.

If you are in an area where Lyme disease could be a concern the tick can be stored in a small jar with rubbing alcohol and submitted for testing. Please include the date/time and location. Saskatchewan has traditionally been known to have a shorter tick season, although in more recent years it appears to have lengthen well in to the fall. Ticks can be carriers of illnesses that can affect both people and pets, such as Lyme disease which is to be carried by the deer tick. Although cases in Saskatchewan have been rare it is always a good idea to be proactive in preventing tick bites. Some veterinary clinics are part of the provincial monitoring program that keeps tabs on ticks and will collect specimens for the program. This program helps to determine which species are present in the province in addition to testing for various pathogens.

How do I keep ticks (and other pests) off my pet? Unfortunately, these little pests can turn in to a big pest problem. Luckily, it is easy to prevent an infestation on your furry family member.

We offer several products that can be used to prevent these guys from feasting on Fido. An over the counter option that can be a safe and effective is Advantix II. It is applied topically usually to the back of the neck directly to the skin. Within 12 hours it will begin to work at killing fleas and ticks, and repelling all sorts of pests like ticks, mosquitos, fleas and lice. Although topically applied it is waterproof (although a non-detergent shampoo should be used for baths) and is generally applied monthly for best results. This product is only for dogs please read on for options available for cats.

Another product available by prescription only is called Revolution. This is generally a once a month topical medication applied in the same manner as the Advantix II. This product works by killing attached parasites. This medication does not repel insects but it will eliminate a large variety of pests including ticks, fleas (of all life stages) heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, and several species of mites. This medication is also waterproof as soon as two hours after application and is usually applied monthly. This product can be prescribed for use in both cats and dogs.

Another product we have recently started carrying is called Bravecto. It is a chewable tasty tablet that is given as a treat once every 3 months. When ticks or fleas bite they will ingest the Bravecto and be eliminated. This is a nice option for people who would prefer not to have to deal with topical treatments, and they will not have to dose as frequently. Bravecto is available for dogs only.

 

 

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