Things have warmed up in Wisconsin and we are noticing the environmental changes already in our patients! Allergies are in full swing as well as everyone’s favorite little parasites – ticks.
Wisconsin, and our neighboring states as we know, are high risk areas for ticks landing on you and your dogs (cats, too!). They like to hangout in wooded areas, along rivers, and around lakes. If you travel up north, hangout at Devil’s Lake, hike/walk on the local trails, or even just have a very green backyard you should be on the lookout for ticks. So how serious is it and what can we do about it?
Ticks when they become engorged on your pet put them at risk for contracting a tick-born illness. The most common of these is Lyme Disease, though this is not the only one. After removing a tick from your pet, it can take up to 90 days before these illnesses start showing their symptoms. If you pull a tick off of your dog, give us a call and make an appointment for a blood test for around 90 days away from the date of the bite.
The blood test in run in house, and only a small amount of blood is required. Our state of the art 4DX snap tests check for 3 tick born illnesses- lyme, ehrlichia canis, and anaplasmosis. As a bonus, the snap test also checks for heartworm! Our new equipment takes live video footage of the snap kits as the test runs, and saves a picture of the result in our computer system immediately upon conclusion of the tests. Our staff members double check the tests with the computers results, ensuring accurate results are reported every time. The test only takes 10 minutes to run- so you’ll leave your appointment knowing the results of your pets test.
How To Pull a Tick Off Your Pet: If you should find a tick on your pet- is important to remove it right away. Carefully and slowly with some tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the base of it as you can and gently pull it off. If you are uncomfortable or unsure if you removed the whole tick- give us a call and we will remove the tick for you right away. After pulling the tick off of your cat or pup, it’s a good idea to give us a call and let us know you did find one.
How To Prevent Tick Bites and Transmission of Tick Born Illnesses: Here at Bayshore Vet Clinic we offer a variety of tick preventions for both dogs and cats! For dogs we have both a topical treatment, Vectra, which is applied monthly to your dog’s back. We also offer a chewable tablet, Nexgard, which is also administered once monthly. For cats, there is a once a month topical treatment called Revolution, administered to the back of your kitty’s head. These treatments also protect against fleas and are weight based- we will need a current weight on your dog to dispense the medication, but no prescription is required! If you are a fan of other preventions, such as Frontline or Bravecto, you can visit our online store and place an order to have these products delivered right to your door. You can order Vectra and Nexgard as well! We recommend that all local dogs in the warmer months be current on flea and tick prevention.
For dogs we also offer a vaccination against lyme disease. This is administered in an initial series of 2 vaccines and then boostered yearly for life. Before your dog is eligible for a lyme vaccine, if they are older than 1 year, they will need to take a 4DX blood test to confirm they do not already have lyme disease. We recommend the lyme vaccine to dogs who are constantly hanging out in wooded areas, walking on trails, visiting parks, or summer swimmers.
As always – if you have any questions at all – feel free to call us at (414)-964-7009!