Ticky Ticky Tacky – A Long Season for Ticks

catheter in sad looking dogIf ticks were only an icky inconvenience when they show up on your dog you might consider them a manageable annoyance, but many carry diseases that can virtually incapacitate your pet. Each year there are more ticks, and as they migrate more varieties are showing up where they haven’t been before.

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council there have been 68 new positive cases of Lyme Disease in Polk County this year (one in every 45 dogs tested were positive).  Lyme disease, to which young dogs seem more susceptible, causes recurrent lameness of the joints, and a lack of appetite and general depression.  More serious complications involve damage to the kidneys, and less frequently heart and central nervous system issues.

And while we’re most aware of Lyme Disease, there are several other tick-borne diseases such as — among others — Canine Ehrlichiosis and Canine Anaplasmosis, both of which can also create serious issues for your pets, and both of which had an even higher frequency of positive tests than those for Lyme.

Although tickborne diseses are treatable with antibiotics it’s obviously best to avoid them in the first place.  The best prevention is to keep your dog away from areas where ticks are present, but that’s not a real possibility in Iowa. Realistically they’re as close as your own back yard, so make sure your dog is vaccinated for Lyme Disease and uses a tick preventative, such as Frontline Plus.  We recommend both, even for dogs that spend much of their time indoors.  If you’re dog hasn’t been vaccinated or isn’t on Frontline, give us a call and make certain he or she is protected.