Ticks in Oakville
Ticks are quickly becoming a serious threat to the health of dogs and people in southern Ontario. In recent years at Abbey Animal Hospital not a day goes by without fielding a question or examining a dog because of a tick concern.
There are a few different types of ticks that feed on dogs in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and the surrounding area, but the one that is cause for concern is the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis).
Risk of Ticks & Lyme Disease
The bacteria that black-legged ticks have the capacity to transmit is Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease in both humans and dogs.
Tick Removal from Dogs
An infected tick that bites and feeds on a dog for more than 24 hours can pass along the bacterium to that dog. If the tick is physically removed, or killed within the first 24 hours, the risk of transmission of Lyme disease is extremely low. Ticks can be completely and readily removed from your dog with a simple device known as a tick twister.
If needed, Tick Twisters are available at Abbey Animal Hospital.
Tick Prevention in Dogs
Ticks tend to inhabit wooded areas and tall brush. Avoidance of these environments can reduce the probability of acquiring a tick. Removing a tick within the first 24 hours will effectively prevent Lyme disease if you can find the ticks(s). The small size (3-6mm) of ticks and the length, thickness and colour of many dogs’ coats makes finding and removing all ticks a difficult and dubious task.
A much more reliable means of protecting your dog against Lyme disease is the administration of tick preventive medications. There are several products and formulations to choose from, including flavoured oral chewables and spot-on topical liquids.
These medications will kill ticks before they have an opportunity to transmit the Lyme bacterium. If your dog is taking a tick preventive medication and you find a tick on him/her, you can remove and discard it and rest assured that he/she is safe.
Tick Prevention Products:
K9 Advantix II: AnimalHealth.Bayer.ca
Nexgard Spectra: Nexgard Spectra (PDF)
When Are Ticks Most Active?
Ticks become active feeders whenever the temperature rises to 4 degrees Celsius or higher. A comprehensive and effective tick and Lyme disease prevention plan needs to start in March and continue through to December.
Please consult with one of our veterinarians to determine the approach that best suits your dog’s needs.