It is that season again folks and very important to be ‘aware’ and vigilant.
I contracted Lyme’s from a tick bite last summer, out in the Shubenacadie area. Coming from a tick infested area (South Carolina) I have always been diligent about checking. I found the tick early, removed her with a tick twister to avoid having her regurgitate, but still developed the classic Bull’s Eye rash 4 days later and immediately went to the doctor and was put on antibiotics. No issues since. Early detection is key. While the information out there says the tick has to be attached for 24 hours and engorged, I will tell you this one was not, on for less than 24 hours and was not engorged, but was embedded.
While most cats will remove ticks through grooming before they attach, we do still see some with infestations. Unfortunately there are very few, safe products available for cats. Please talk to your veterinarian if your kitty goes outdoors and is at risk. You are much more likely to have an issue if you have a dog in your home. There are newer tick and flea control options available for dogs now from your veterinarian including a chewable tablet in addition to the topical spot-ons. Please talk to them to find out what method is best for your specific situation and risk level.
If you live in an area with ticks some tips that may help limit them infesting your yard include creating a barrier of gravel around your yard as they do not crawl across gravel. (this won’t work if you have trees overhanging the barrier) Keep your grass mown as tall grass is a hiding spot for them. If you have trees be aware that they do like to drop from overhanging limbs onto people and animals moving below them. Perform a ‘tick check’ whenever you come inside from the ‘great outdoors’. They like to hide in warm, dark spots. Be sure to check behind your ears. Check your pets when they come in from outside and if they do go outdoors in a ‘tick area’ include tick preventative/treatment. Be aware that the ticks on your pets will not die ‘instantly’ with those products and may still drop off of your pet if not attached and seek another host. There are more useful tips in the article below.