Ticks are troublesome creatures. Our pets can pick these up by walking in long grass, in your back yard or in the woods; anywhere where ticks live and breed. These insects attach to the skin and often spend several days sucking blood and enlarging (engorging). As well as being a horrible thought, the biggest problem is that ticks can transmit a number of diseases to your pet, including Lymes disease.
Ticks are slow moving and can take several days to attach; not like fleas that jump and move rapidly and bite almost immediately on your pet. This makes prevention more difficult. Many good preventatives for fleas and other parasites may only work once the tick has bitten. They may not prevent disease transmission.
There are products specifically designed for tick treatment and prevention. A word of warning however, these products are almost always extremely toxic to cats. Dogs that have been freshly treated should be kept separate from cats in the household in most cases. There are once-a-month topical products and there are tick collars. Some flea sprays will also assist tick prevention.
An embedded tick on your pet can sometimes look like a purplish “growth” or “mole” on the skin. This should be removed by a veterinary professional to ensure that the entire insect is removed. Removing the body and leaving the mouth parts attached can cause localized infection.
Examine your pet regularly when they come in from outside during the summertime to check for parasites such as ticks, and ask for further information if you have any questions. We are happy to help.