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All About Ticks

You may have heard quite a bit about ticks on the news lately. Once more common in southern areas, ticks have been moving further and further north. There has been a huge spike in tick-borne illnesses over the last few years, so it’s important to be vigilant, both with your pet and yourself. In this article from Armitage Animal Hospital, a Newmarket, ON vet discusses one of the biggest jerks of the insect world, the tick.

Tick Uprising

Ticks have become so prevalent in the north that some places are taking steps to curb their growth. For instance, New York is setting out deer-feeding stations that apply tick prevention products to deer as they eat. Why are ticks suddenly everywhere? Warmer temperatures, caused by climate change, are one factor. Migratory birds also carry ticks.

Types of Ticks

Ticks can carry several dangerous diseases. Lyme disease is the most common one in the north. It causes painful swelling of the bones and joints, and can affect both people and pets. Lyme disease is often spread by blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, which are, unfortunately, not uncommon around here. You may also have heard of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This is another serious tick-borne illness. It’s carried by the Lone Star tick. Although the Lone Star tick is more often found in the southern U.S., it is moving further north every year, and has been spotted in Canada. In case you were wondering, this tick can also cause meat allergies. Ask your vet for more information.

Protecting Your Pet

Keeping up with your animal companion’s tick control products is very important. There are many products available now, from collars to oral medications to topical drops to sprays. Never double up on these products. For instance, if your pet is on topical drops, don’t use tick shampoo on him as well. This can expose your furry pal to dangerous levels of pesticides. Ask your vet for more information.

Landscaping

There are some ways to make your home less appealing to ticks. Keep your lawns and hedges neatly trimmed. Ticks love to lurk in tall grasses! Pick up debris, such as fallen branches. Even just putting a border around your home, such as a mulch or gravel path, can help.

Please contact Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON vet, for any questions about pet care. We’re here to help!

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