My family is away on vacation this week so I am hanging out in the country! It therefore seems appropriate for me to talk about ticks! Not that they are only found out here, we see lots in the city too but I always make sure I am up to date on my tick medication when I visit my family in the country.
We have had lots of questions at the clinic about ticks and when to start tick preventive medications. We've had such a funny warm winter and a few dogs come in with ticks in January! Not that they are active now, Mother Nature took care of that with the most recent cold spell, but the question we are getting is "when do we start tick medication?"
It's a good question and it seems to change every year. What's important to remember is that ticks are active when the temperature rises above 4 degrees Celsius. The deer tick, that transmits Lyme disease is active throughout the season but more so in the Spring and the Fall when the temperatures are cooler. So when the temperatures are consistently over 4 degrees we should start thinking about starting our medication for ticks! This year that may be as early as March.
There are three different kinds of tick preventive medication:
1. Advantix - applied on the skin over the back once monthly. This product has the ability to kill ticks before they attach and start feeding.
2. Nexgard - a monthly chewable designed to kill ticks quickly once they start feeding (I've tried them - they are delicious!)
3. Bravecto - an every 3 month chewable (I've tried this one too !!)
If you are interested in starting a tick preventive, someone here at the clinic can help decide which is right for your furry friend! And as an added bonus - they are kill fleas too.
Remember tick prevention is separate from heartworm prevention. No need to worry about the heartworm test until after March 31st. Heartworm prevention starts in the summer - June 1st to November 1st. But feel free to give us a call about ticks before this!
I am off for a run down the lane! It's warmer out today but I still think I'll wear my sweater and my coat. Maybe my mummy will take a picture when she picks me up in a few days that I can share with you all!
Despite the fact that we need to worry about ticks, I can't wait for the warmer weather!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay