According to Canadian researchers, tick populations have grown 10 times over in the past two decades within Canada. Ticks can cause many diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Bartonellosis, Hepatozoonosis. The tick population is projected to get worse. Researchers estimate that if you draw a line marking tick territory across Canada, that line moves 45 km farther north every year!
There are two main types of preventatives. Non-systemic medication (applied to the surface of my pet’s skin) otherwise known as a “contact kill” treatments do not require the pest to bite. With systemic products, fleas and ticks have to bite because medication is running through the pet’s bloodstream. This leaves pets vulnerable, since diseases are transmitted through the bite. However, with non-systemic products, when the pest lands on the pet, it becomes uncoordinated, allowing time for the medication to kill the flea or tick. These products can greatly reduce the ability of fleas and ticks to bite, attach and feed from your pet, thereby reducing the chance of disease transmission.
But how else can I prevent my pet from being bit by a flea or tick? Dr. Melissa Davies, DVM is an associate veterinarian at Pembroke Animal Hospital (PAH) in Pembroke, Ontario. PAH was recently awarded a huge honour by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The hospital was named AAHA-accredited Practice of the Year for 2016, an honour that awards high standards of veterinary excellence and client service. Practicing in the Ottawa Valley means that Dr. Davies is no stranger to flea and tick problems. She has a few tips to avoid the bite.
“First, get your pet on a proper prescription product for the at risk months,” said Dr. Davies. “After walks in high risk tick areas, check your pet for ticks and remove them. Avoid areas that are tick friendly.”
“I would recommend a prescription flea/tick control product purchased from your veterinarian. There are numerous effective products- your veterinarian can review the differences and tailor products to suit you and your pet’s lifestyle and risk level.”
To make an informed decision about parasite prevention Dr. Davies recommends discussing your concerns and your pet’s lifestyle with your veterinarian. This is why annual visits to your veterinarian are so important. It is important to know what parasite prevention products are available and how they work. Your pet’s doctor has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to helping you prevent parasites and diseases in your pet. Why live with fleas and ticks biting your pet when it can be prevented? Talk to your vet today about scheduling an annual visit, because No Bite Is Right!