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June 05, 2009

Tick Season is Upon Us

Tick season is in full swing on the Palouse. If you live in an area with lots of brush or tall grass, or you have visited such a place, you already know that. We have seen quite a few ticks at the clinic and have been dispensing tick products like crazy. So, why would you want to spend good, hard earned money on a tick product when you can remove the ticks yourself? Well, because it is summer and you are busy. You have good intentions to check your dogs and cats for ticks, but life just gets in the way.

Why is tick control important? Because ticks can cause systemic and localized diseases in your pet. If a tick is allowed to attach to a pet or person, at the very least a localized infection can occur, and at the very worst, systemic diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, or Tick Paralysis could be the result. By controlling ticks on our pets, we can help to keep ticks out of our homes and off ourselves as well (good hygiene is still important ;). Here is a {good link} from Washington State Department of Health to find out about the health aspects of tick bites in humans. Much of what they have to say is applicable to dogs as well.

We recommend Frontline Topspot for ticks. We don't have a flea problem in most of our county, so Frontline Plus is not really needed. We like the ease of application, the quality of protection, and the price. You can find a coupon for Frontline on their website linked above.

Here is another {good link} from Cornell University that talks about tick species, life cycle, and behavior. The common ticks that we have around here are the American Dog Tick and the Brown Dog Tick. We occasionally get a Spinous Ear Tick found mostly down by the Snake River. When we get another one in, I will be sure to get a picture to show you. They sound scary, but are just mostly interesting (unless you have it in your ear!).

So why does it seem that dogs get more ticks than cats? I think the main reason is that most cats are fastidious groomers, so they would likely remove a tick before it has a chance to get attached. But, it does happen--cats can have ticks -- so be sure and check your cats for ticks as well.