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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ticks- Ottawa Area News

In the Mon July 19/2010 Ottawa Citizen Dr B Pukay, an Ottawa veterinarian discusses ticks in our Ottawa area.

"The incidence of tick infestations appears to be on the rise in Canada in the past few years. Why this happens, is not really known, but it may be due to the fact that we are experiencing warmer temperatures and significant climate changes."

Personally in grooming outside shelties have seen more on them over the last 2 yrs, with one coming up positive for Lyme disease, which is the main one we are concerned about in our dogs.

Ticks are grey or brown insects roughly the size of a coffee bean. They attach to the skin and survive by sucking blood from their host. You can't simply pull the tick out since their mouthparts can remain embedded in the skin, causing localized inflammation. First sock them with rubbing alcohol or with a flea/tick spray or shampoo. They will usually withdraw in a few minutes. If it doesn't fall off, then grasp it as close to the skin as possible with a pair of tweezers and apply steady pressure to pull it off. You are concerned about Lyme, place it in a jar and have your vet send it off. It will only cost you the courier fees. The lab will identify the tick, and there are many (American/Brown dog tick, deer tick, Rocky Mountain (cause of Rocky Mountain Fever) and if it is one that can carry the Lyme disease they will test it.

Lyme disease symptoms can be swollen joints, lameness, swollen lymph nodes, fever, loss of appetite and weakness. These symptoms may not show up for some time after a tick has been on the dog. Fortunately, antibiotics are very effective.

Control if you're in a country environment.

If this is where you live and frequent the woods, then I highly recommend either K9 Avantix, Preventic or Revolution. Tick repellent sprays & powers, along with collars are available at most petstores and are a good choice if it's a one time thing.

NB: consult your vet 1st to ensure you are using the correct product for where you are going, age of dog and condition of your dog.

Keep your dog safe - check their skin regularly (one reason to line brush your sheltie!), consider using a flea/tick shampoo during the summer if you tend to be in a high risk environment and seek medical advice if you are unsure about any of the above.

________________

I wrote about our trip to Saskatoon and finding ticks on several of our dogs, luckily they were the dog tick which doesn't carry the Lyme disease.

2 comments:

Kav July 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

Yikes -- I guess this is the price we pay for these hot humid days. I've noticed tons more mosquitoes this year as well. I really wrestled with medicating my dog as I prefer a wholistic/natural approach to most everything, but I am giving him revolution because I'm worried about heartworm. Now I'm glad because I see it controls ticks as well. I'm not in a high risk area though.

Shelamo Shelties July 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

yep and living in this type of climate. It's even worse down south. Something one should think of if they take their pouch south during the winter. Studies have shown that since Katrina, with the dogs that were rescued and brought to Canada, the incidence of heartworm has increased.

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