Warm weather brings increased risk for tick-borne disease

May 15, 2013

Spring is definitely here and with it comes the warm weather we have all been waiting for! We all want to spend more time outside now with our pets, but being in the great outdoors can expose them to ticks, mosquitoes and the diseases that they carry. We have already seen ticks come in to the clinic on dogs this year and forecasters are predicting that this year we will have an increased tick population to contend with.

Did you know that ticks carry diseases that affect both pets and people? Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Tularemia, and Babesia. So what can you do to protect your pets and your family from tick-borne diseases?

There are a number of products available now that can prevent tick infestations on dogs, therefore protecting them from developing a tick-borne disease. We can help you choose which product is best for your pet. Depending on where you live and your pet’s risk factors, one of the veterinarians can discuss with you additional means of protection that are available, like a vaccination for Lyme disease. Although these preventative measures are effective, it is important to note that none provide 100% protection.

Since there is no treatment that guarantees 100% against disease transmission, it is especially important for you to inspect yourself and your pet for ticks on a daily basis. Know what ticks look like, study up on the life cycles of ticks, and give your pet a head-to-tail inspection. Your pet will love the extra attention and you might find a tick before it has a chance to spread disease.
If you are concerned about your pets risk or exposure to ticks, screening tests are a fast and easy way to detect tick-borne diseases. We already include screening for 4 different tick-borne diseases in our annual test for heartworm disease and this is the perfect time of year to have dogs tested. Prevention products usually start on or before June 1st depending on the risk of exposure. Have you been in to pick up a product for your pets this season?