Tick Prevention and Control
Ticks are gross, bloodsucking parasites. However, their appearance is not the problem.
They also carry many dangerous diseases, like Rickettsial diseases, viruses, and more infections that are still being understood. You must be aware and concerned about ticks passing to yourself and family members, as people can suffer from these diseases for decades if not quickly diagnosed. In Ontario, quick diagnosis is usually not accomplished.
Ticks have four life stages – egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Hard female ticks lay between 2,000 to 18,000 eggs before dying, while soft female ticks will lay eggs several times throughout their lifetime. Either way, these eggs hatch to release more ticks that must feed on blood regularly throughout their lifetime to survive. With a host, ticks can live for up to 3 years!
Ticks infest birds, lizards, and all animals, including people.
Does My Pet Have Ticks?
Ticks are not easy to detect, as only large ones full of blood are large enough to see plainly. You can check your pet’s fur for lumps or adult ticks. You will never find small ticks.
With your hands, feel your pet’s body for any small lumps. Be sure to check under your pet’s tail, around the toes, under the armpits, and in the ears. Ticks like these darker, more secluded locations.
You can also use a flea comb to check for these bumps. If you feel the lump, stop brushing and investigate.
If you find a tick, it looks like a skin lump, but you will see the legs moving under the tick. Do not pull it out of your pet’s skin. This can be harmful!
Although ticks are often too small to see, they can transmit Lyme and other diseases if your pet isn’t on preventive treatments.
How Do I PREVENT and TREAT a Tick Infestation?
We are pleased to provide you with excellent tick products.
Currently there are two excellent products available, with more coming in the next few years. Ticks are extremely hard to kill. One product is a liquid to squirt onto the skin once monthly, and the other is a chewable pill that is given every 3 months.
We currently recommend tick control all year round, except for December, January, and February during cold winters.
It is important to not be fooled by claims made on the packaging of some veterinary products labelled for prevention of heartworm disease that also claim to prevent ticks. The tick that they make a claim about does NOT carry Lyme disease, and is only located in the southern States, so it is really of no use to you. Please ask us if you have any questions about this matter.
Please see www.canlyme.com for further information on tick prevention.
What Diseases Are Associated with Ticks?
Ticks can transmit many serious diseases, both to animals and humans. Even just one tick bite can cause an infection, so be sure to have you pet checked regularly for ticks and tick‐borne diseases.
Lyme disease is one of the diseases most commonly transmitted by ticks. It can lead to lameness by infecting your pet’s tissues and inflaming the joints, kidney damage, and even nervous system and heart disease.
Other diseases transmitted by ticks include Ehrlichia, Babesia, Anaplasma, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, viral meningitis/encephalitis, and more.
In your pet’s routine check-up, we screen for most of these diseases, we check for signs of ticks, and we discuss with you the information you need to know about ticks in detail.
Our staff know how to assess your pet for signs of ticks and tick‐borne diseases. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about ticks and tick control.