It’s Tick Season. Are You Ready?

We’re about to enter high tick season which runs from April through November in most parts of the country. So it’s time to arm yourself with the facts to protect your pets from these parasites.

Deer Tick on my dog Flickr Picture Courtesy of B D

Courtesy of B D / Flickr

Why is tick prevention so important? Ticks carry a variety of diseases that are dangerous to pets — in particular to dogs — including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis.

Know Your Enemy

Do ticks live in your area? If so, what kind? It helps to know what you’re up against. Check the tick maps provided by the CDC to learn what ticks live in your area and how to identify them.

Distribution of the Brown Dog Tick During Tick Season in the U.S.

Courtesy of the CDC

It’s a good idea to conduct regular tick checks of your pets, especially if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors. Every day, run your hands slowly over your pet’s body including her head, armpits, and inside her ears. Don’t forgot to check yourself too!

What to do if you find a tick on your dog or cat:

  • Use a pair of tweezers or the Tick Twister to grab the tick by head where the mouth enters your pet’s body, then pull backwards steadily until the tick is extracted from the body. Don’t grab the tick by the body, twist it, or pull too quickly. Disinfect the wound and apply an antibiotic cream approved by your veterinarian. Keep it clean and disinfected until it has healed.
  • If your pet has several ticks or is infested with them, you can try a medicated shampoo or dip to kill the ticks on contact.
  • Watch for signs of tick borne illnesses in your pet. Symptoms may not be evident for up to three weeks. If you think a tick has bitten your pet and she’s behaving differently – loss of appetite, lethargy – talk your veterinarian right away.

Don’t Wait Until Tick Season: Prevention is the Best Medicine

Your goal should be to prevent ticks from ever latching on to your dog or cat. Fortunately, there are lots of effective preventative medications on the market. Your best bet is to talk with your veterinarian about which one is right for your pet and your area of the country. Be sure that the medicine you use repels the types of ticks in your area.

Here’s a quick overview of your options to fight ticks:

Oral Tick Preventatives – The market is full of preventative oral medications you give to your pet monthly to kill adult ticks and prevent eggs from hatching.

Topical Tick Preventatives – If you’d rather not give your pet a pill each month, ask your veterinarian about topical tick treatments that you apply to the skin each month.

Environmental Products to Kill Ticks – Keeping your bushes, trees, and lawn trimmed reduces the area ticks have to breed and helps keep the tick population at bay. If you have a tick infestation in your yard, consider using environmental products or hiring an exterminator to address the problem. Be sure to read the directions and understand how the products affect pets and people before you use them.

Seresto – One of the newest ways to protect your pet from ticks is the Seresto collar. It has a unique combination of ingredients and an innovative delivery system that protects your pet from ticks for up to eight months. It’s available for cats, too.

We stock a full range of tick preventatives and treatments to keep your pet safe and healthy. Which tick products do you use? And how are they working? We welcome your feedback and so do our other pet parents. Share your experiences with ticks by leaving a reply below. Alternatively, please leave product reviews on any of the tick products available at VetRxDirect. Thank you.

Down with ticks!