Don’t Let Your Pets Fall for Ticks this Season
By Dr. Steven Wolchinsky
With the onset of cooler weather, you may be tempted to start dropping your guard against ticks, but did you know that the late summer and early autumn is the peak time for these pesky parasites!
While you mostly find ticks in tall grass and woodlands, they also lurk about in the leaves your pets love to play in. They wait for an animal or human to brush past them so that they can jump and feed. They attach using their mouthparts and will feed on blood from their host for several days before finally dropping off.
Ticks can be transferred from pets coming into the household from outdoors and can even be transferred to humans. Ticks can spread diseases, including Lyme disease, which is a bacterial infection that can affect humans, dogs, cats and other mammals. Ticks from other areas have migrated to the mid-Atlantic and we are now commonly seeing other tick borne diseases such as Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis, both bacterial infections that can affect pets and humans alike.
How do you know if your pet has ticks? Ticks are often visible to the naked eye, so it’s a good idea to check your pet regularly if you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, especially if they spend a lot of time outside. Run your hands carefully over your pet every time they come inside, and especially check inside and around the ears, head and feet.
If you believe your pet has ticks, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can remove the parasite. And remember prevention is key, so talk to your veterinarian today about the best preventative medicine to keep all your pets safe this fall.