If you have not been using tick protection for your pet, it is time to start!
A good tick prevention product should be used all 12 months of the year for dogs and cats who go outside in our area. Our pet healthcare team would be happy to discuss which products would be best to protect your dog or cat.
Tick numbers continue to increase in our region each year. Many people do not realize\ that ticks can be active when the temperature outside is above 0 degrees Celsius and that the highest tick numbers are seen in spring and fall. Ticks can carry Lyme and many other blood–borne diseases that are dangerous for dogs and cats. Ticks are efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding (usually several days).
It is important to NEVER use flea and tick products meant for your dog on your cat as they can be toxic, causing your cat to have seizures.
For dogs, we also recommend immunization every year with a vaccine against Lyme. The first year that this vaccine is administered, two initial doses are given four weeks apart. Vaccination for Lyme is safe and very helpful but does not eliminate the need for a good tick protection product to be used year–round.
Visit petsandticks.com to learn more about ticks and Lyme disease in pets in Canada.
What it means for you and your family to find a tick on your pet
Your pet cannot directly transmit Lyme disease or other tick–borne diseases to you or your family. Your pets play an important role in helping you remain alert. Now that you know Lyme disease exists in your area, watch for ticks and be aware of your family’s risk of tick bites and infection. To reduce risk, inspect every family member several times a day after enjoying outdoor activities. If you find an engorged, blacklegged tick attached on a person, it is recommended to carefully remove the tick, place it in a safe container and contact your local Ontario/Quebec public health unit.
To learn more about Lyme disease in people in Canada, visit:
What it can mean to find a tick on your dog
If a tick was found on your dog, it may have been exposed to Lyme disease. This dangerous infection may cause the following:
• Swollen joints
• Loss of appetite
• Kidney infection
These signs can occur as early as 2–5 months after infections, although it is possible for signs to develop much later. Dogs often display no clear signs of Lyme disease.
6–8 weeks after exposure from a tick bite, we can detect infection from Lyme and other tick–borne diseases in in your dog by testing a small blood sample (4DX).
During your dog‘s regular annual check–up and vaccine visit, we will recommend this blood test (4DX) to detect exposure to Lyme disease and other tick–borne diseases – along with heartworm infection.
At home, your role is to watch your dog carefully and call us if these signs appear:
• Reluctance to move or exercise
• Painful joints (your dog yelps when touched)
• Increased thirst
• Increased urination
To help your dog avoid Lyme disease infection, continue to inspect your pets’ skin daily for ticks and consistently use a tick–control product.
If you would like more information about tick prevention and the effects ticks can have on dogs and cats, please review the pet health information articles on the MacCormick Veterinary Services website at the following links:
Flea and Tick Prevention
Ticks in Dogs
Ticks in Cats