The nice weather has returned, well almost … and so are some of the inconveniences of summer.
Today we want to talk to you about an arachnid, the tick. In the late 70s, these critters were virtually nonexistent in Quebec. Parasitologists mainly warned us that they did exist, particularly south of the border and on the west coast. Things have changed! We now know that the tick is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease and can now complete its reproductive cycle in Quebec. More and more dogs are seen in consultation because of ticks.
For those who do not know, the tick feeds on the blood of his victims (mammals, birds, reptiles …), but not like the mosquito. The mosquito bites its victim, gets engorged with blood and leave after the meal is complete. Instead, the tick bites his victim and remains there for a long period of time. Particularly females who need a lot of blood in order to lay up to 3,000 eggs. The mouthparts of the tick are inserted into the skin of the victim and firmly hold the arachnid in place… the tick will not fall easily.
So the big question is… What should you do if you find a tick on our dog?
There is now evidence that the rapid removal of the tick is probably the best way to prevent the transmission of diseases. But the tick has to me removed correctly. Several tools are available for tick removal. Whichever you use, it is important to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Thereafter, pull up with firm pressure, but constant (do not jerk it!). Once removed, it is necessary to clean the wound with disinfectant soap. Chlorhexidine is a good choice. Keep the tick in a dry container for identification.
Do not jerk, crush the tick or use your fingers to remove it. If you use a small pliers, it must be fine enough to capture the mouthparts without crushing the tick. If the mouthparts remain stuck in the skin, infection can occur.
If you have any doubt, give your veterinarian a call.
There are now ,new and safer tablets that prevent tick infestations and fleas in dogs. If ever you live in an environment where ticks are present, we strongly recommend that you administer it to your dog during the tick season, ie from June to the end of November. But be careful! Products with permethrin (applied to the skin), which are still on sale, are very toxic to cats and should not be used in a home where dogs and cats live together. This is not the case for the new oral anti-tick and fleas product.
Lyme disease is surging in Quebec, veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic recommend you test your dog for this disease. This can be done at the same time as its heart worm test.
In conclusion, veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic recommend treating your dogs preventively against heart worm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks, and your outdoor cats against heart worm, intestinal parasites and fleas, at least once a month, from June to November inclusively.
If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team at the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.