The tick risk in Ontario is changing rapidly, and your pet should be protected. In this area, we are concerned about the western black-legged tick. It can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, and it is one of the most common tick-related diseases. In a dog, it can cause recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. To diagnose Lyme’s disease, we do a 4Dx snap test. It is a blood test that is done in the hospital. The test takes approximately 8-15 minutes to run in-house, it screens for heartworm, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis.
There are many products on the market to protect your pet. Most of the flea and tick products require the tick to take a blood meal for it to die. It takes 24 hours before the tick can transfer the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, therefore if you use a chewable product, it takes effect within 12 hours so the tick will die before the bacteria would be transmitted. Some people don’t want their pets to be bitten by ticks or fleas; they prefer to use the products that repel them, especially, for those pets that are allergic to flea bites; the choice is yours.
Another prevention would be getting your pet vaccinated against Lyme disease. It can be given at your annual visit but requires a booster one month after the first vaccinations. It would be a good idea to have your pet tested before starting with the vaccinations.
Hope all of our clients and their pets have a safe and happy summer!
Written by Marisa, Receptionist