You may have heard that in 2017 we are set to see a surge in ticks and tick related illnesses nationwide. While the threat of Lyme diseases is commonly associated with ticks on the east coast, it’s important to be aware that there are many different types of ticks and diseases that can be passed to dogs, cats, and humans right here in California.
The western black-legged tick, which can carry Lyme disease, can be found throughout California and and as far out as Utah all year round. However, peak tick season is upon us and we encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your pets.
There are many things that you can do to protect your animals and yourself from ticks this summer. For instance, ticks like to hang out in tall grasses or leaf piles and await on innocent passerby's to make their move. It is important when out hiking to stay on the trail with your dog where grasses and plants are cut back or thinner. Do not let your dogs roam freely off trails where they can pick up a dangerous hitchhiker. It is equally important to keep plants and vegetation trimmed at home. Make sure your lawn is regularly mowed and there are no weeds or tall grasses.
If you and your dog spend a lot of time outdoors, regularly inspect your animal’s body for ticks. Check their body thoroughly, including their inner thighs, face, and ears. Ticks are quite small and become easier to spot as they become engorged, so make sure to look all they way to your pets skin so you are not missing anything. If you do spot a tick, you need to have it removed immediately. Talk to your veterinarian about your safest options as well as the many oral and topical tick medications on the market.
By following just these few guidelines you can help make sure your pet is happy and healthy and fee from pesky ticks!