The spring and summer months offer opportunities to have fun with our pets in the great outdoors. However, the warmer months also increase the risk of ticks. Ticks can attach themselves to your pet and suck their blood until they are full. In addition, ticks can also transmit illnesses including Lyme Disease.
Cats and dogs are at risk for ticks every time they go outside. Ticks will climb up blades of grass, tall weeds, etc. and when an animal passes by, the ticks can easily attach themselves to an unsuspecting pet.
Prevention is key. Keep cats indoors to minimize their exposure. If you also own a dog, check it regularly, as ticks can move from one pet to another. Look between the toes, inside the ears, in their "armpits", and around their neck. Avoid allowing your dog to spend time in wooded areas or long periods of time outside.
Also, there are prevention medications available from your veterinarian designed to make your pet undesirable to ticks. There are many options, including spot-on treatments, oral medications, shampoos, dips, collars, powders and sprays. Some treatments are available at the pet store, while others are only available at your veterinarian's office. Caution, however, is needed when choosing a treatment/medication since some are toxic to cats.
If you spot a tick on your pet, you need to remove it immediately. Apply rubbing alcohol to the area, then use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Place the tick in a jar of alcohol to kill it. Removing it may not get the entire tick and the tick may have already transmitted a disease to your pet, so you need to make an appointment with your vet immediately.
The veterinarian team at Pickering Animal Hospital can point out the different options available to you and help you choose the most effective treatment/medication for your pet.