Time to Talk About Ticks

May 16, 2016
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ticksThe rise in outdoor temperatures is a sure sign that spring is here, and with the change come ticks.

When the weather warms it’s safe to assume that ticks are out looking for their next meal. Although the arachnids are found throughout the United States, deer ticks, also known as blacklegged ticks, are common carriers of Lyme disease. They often are found in wooded areas and along forest trails, primarily where their preferred host, the white-tailed deer, is located. 

For veterinary clinics, spring is a time to educate pet owners about flea and tick season, and to recommend preventive measures such as parasitic control and vaccination against Borrelia burgdorferi, or Lyme disease.

Signs of Trouble 

When a tick attaches itself to a host, the transfer of Lyme disease isn’t immediate.“The general consensus is it takes at least 24 to 48 hours,” said Jeremy Smith, DVM, owner of Oak Knoll Animal Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Symptoms don’t necessarily show themselves right away, either. Dogs are more affected than cats—a fact that some attribute to felines being more fastidious groomers. However, cats are at a disadvantage because there is no Lyme vaccine for them and they have been found to harbor B. burgdorferi antibodies but show no clinical signs.

To learn more about the signs of Lyme disease, treatment options, and how to educate pet owners, visit Veterinary Practice News.