tickThey’re tiny, they suck your blood and they’re hard to see. If you’re not paying attention, one tick could latch onto your pet or you and transmit diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

With inviting, warm weather, you’re probably more likely to take your dog for a walk in the woods or the park or somewhere ticks could be hiding. They’re just waiting around for a likely host.

The Threat. In 2017, one out of 16 dogs tested positive for Lyme Disease*. This disease can cause symptoms like arthritis, swelling of your pet’s joints and lameness. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, also transmitted by ticks, can cause fever, lameness and other indications.

Ticks can also bring about diseases that are less familiar like Ehrlichiosis, an infection that destroys the host’s white blood cells, or Meningoencephalitis, an infection leading to loss of nervous system function. The latter disease can come on rapidly with symptoms like fever, convulsions and paralysis — and can be fatal.

The Triumph. Take a look at your pet’s outdoor environment. Have you considered how strategic landscaping might make your space less inviting to ticks? Mulch, wood chips or gravel can reduce the migration of ticks in your yard. And if you have woods on your property, you might consider a three-foot buffer between your lawn and any woods.

When your pet comes back from an area you know is inhabited by ticks, take the time to run your hands over your pet’s whole body. Ticks tend to attach around the pet’s head, ears, neck and feet – although they may also target any other place that’s handy.

The Talk. As you know, prevention trumps treatment every time. Talk to us about tick prevention products that may be appropriate for your pet.

*According to Companion Animal Parasite Council.