Spring is here and along with the spring flowers and migrating birds we see the less welcome return of ticks. Ticks are arachnids, small 8 legged bugs related to spiders. They attach themselves to birds, animals and people to suck a blood meal. They really are a disgusting blood sucking parasite.
Not only are they disgusting, they carry several diseases. Including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Ticks and tick borne diseases are on the increase. Lyme disease is being reported from a wider range every year. Yellow Star ticks are rapidly spreading north and we will probably see them here in northwest Iowa in a few short years.
We have several products to control ticks including Frontline Plus and Vectra3D. These products are applied topically once a month. These products will typically kill the ticks before they bite, greatly reducing the risk of tick borne disease.
For Lyme disease we have a vaccine for dogs that is a very effective preventative.
Tick borne diseases are often difficult to diagnose. There is a heartworm test that will also test for 3 tick borne diseases: Lyme, Ehrilichiosis and Ananplasmosis. This test will detect the presence of these diseases even if the dog isn’t presenting with symptoms.
Please protect your pets from these disgusting parasites!