Ticked Off

After a warm winter, experts predict higher tick populations in the Northeast than normal. How can you keep your pet tick free? Or remove one once it’s attached? Dr. Patten gives us the low down.

What diseases can ticks transmit to my dog?

Ticks can transmit Lyme, Erhlichia, Anaplasma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many other diseases. Signs of a tick-borne disease may include fever, lethargy, joint pain, and decreased appetite.  If you notice any of these symptoms you should take your dog to a veterinarian. Your dog can not transmit any of these diseases to you, but if an infected tick bites you it can transmit some of these diseases to you.  Please contact your doctor if you believe you have been bitten by a tick.

How do I prevent ticks from attaching and transmitting disease to my dog?

The best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is with an appropriate tick preventative. There are many great flea and tick products on the market right now.  Some are topical ones that you apply to the skin on your dog’s back. Other ones are monthly pills that your dog swallows or collars that your dog wears. It is best to purchase products from your veterinarian. These are the only products that will be guaranteed by the manufacturer. When purchased from an online retailer, the manufacturer will not guarantee the efficacy of the product.

Lyme disease is the only tick-borne disease which has a vaccine. If your dog has a high tick exposure, you should speak with your veterinarian about the Lyme vaccine.

How do I remove a tick from my dog or cat?

Use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible so you are grasping the tick’s head.  Gently squeeze and pull up with slow and steady pressure. (Do not twist or jerk the tick because you want to avoid leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind.) The tick will eventually release the skin and be completely removed.

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About Dr. Patten

Dr. Patten, owner of Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough, has extensive experience in preventative care, dental procedures, emergency medicine, and soft tissue surgery. She lives on Fox Street in East Falls with her husband and their two sons.

Liberty Vet Clinic
8919 Ridge Ave (MAP)
(215) 483-1066

Extended Hours:
Mon.-Thurs. 9AM-7PM
Friday:  9AM-1PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday:  9AM-1PM

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