Tick Season is here! 🕷🌷

March 05, 2024

Tick Season is here! 🕷🌷

 

It’s Tick Season!

While we are all super excited to get outside again and explore the beautiful Okanagan, this warmer weather means those pesky ticks are back in season! Yep, that's right, it's early March and we're already seeing ticks come into Pandosy Village Vet. 

So, why are ticks so bad, anyway?

TICK PARALYSIS
Ticks in the Okanagan can cause two issues - the first is tick paralysis. Every year we have terrified pet parents come into the clinic when their cat or dog suddenly stops being able to walk (understandably panicked!). Tick paralysis is caused by a neurological toxin being transmitted by a tick bite... the paralysis doesn't last, but it's scary and confusing for all involved. (This is one of the reasons we love our Botanical Tick Repellant so much - it helps keep ticks from biting.)

LYME DISEASE
Ticks can carry a variety of nasty diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but the disease most fur parents are familiar with is Lyme Disease - a chronic ailment that can negatively affect your fur kids' internal organs, neurological system, muscles, and joints. See the 2023 map below for the areas of our province affected by these nasty 8-legged beings. Learn more about Lyme disease from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

ICK FACTOR

In addition to the above, there is the added “ick” factor of having a little blood-sucker attached to your fur child! 

Do You Test Ticks for Lyme Disease?

We can do blood tests for dogs 4-6 weeks after they have been bitten if they exhibit the symptoms of Lyme disease. These blood tests are by appointment, so just give us a call and we can schedule your dog or cat at the right time so the test is most accurate. There is an exam, blood draw, and testing fee - they'll get a full exam with one of our doctors as well.

As for the ticks themselves, the first step is for you to identify which tick species it is. To identify the tick species, simply make an account at etick.ca and upload a picture. If it is a black-legged tick, we can send it to the provincial lab for you for a PCR test.  All we need is the tick (dead or alive) with a moist bit of paper towel in a ziplock bag to send it in! Sorry, we can only test ticks that were on your pets - not on you. (You'll have to go to your human doctor for that). There is a shipping charge for all ticks sent to be tested.

What Do We Recommend For Protection?

To kill ticks, we recommend a prescription pharmaceutical for dogs - this is your fool-proof tick solution.  That way, if your dog does pick up a hitchhiker while running through fields, playing ball at the park, or enjoying a hike with you - that little parasite won’t last long! Once it attaches to the skin, the pharmaceutical in their system kills the feeding creepy crawler and protects your pup from any disease transmission.

What is our top recommendation? NexGard Spectra - a once-a-month chew that protects against four types of ticks (American dog ticks, Brown dog ticks, Lone Star ticks, and Black-legged ticks) as well as fleas and lice. NexGard also protects against internal parasites, including heartworm - which is good for dogs getting into things out on walks, dog parks, and hikes (especially if they like to eat 💩). This is also a good option if you plan on doing a lot of traveling to warmer, more humid climates this year.

Want something that lasts more than a month? Bravecto is also a great option for pet parents. It protects dogs against three types of ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, brown dog tick, and Asian long-horned tick) as well as fleas and lice in one chewable dose that is effective for three months.

Both these medications require a prescription and an up-to-date annual exam on file. If you haven't brought your pet to Pandosy Village Vet in the last year, we are happy to schedule you for a health consultation and a vet will prescribe the appropriate treatment.

IS THERE A HERBAL OPTION TO HELP KEEP TICKS OFF?

To help keep ticks off in the first place, we (and hundreds of our clients!) highly recommend the natural tick spray we make right here at Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital. Our Botanical Tick Repellant harnesses the power of Rose Geranium and other flowers to repel ticks. 

Our floral tick repellant is also safe for use on humans, so all our staff love to coat our boots and socks in it before hikes, to keep the creepy crawlies off us pet parents as well! It works by smelling, so you do have to reapply before every outing, and after splashes in the lake.

 

WHAT DO WE RECOMMEND FOR PUPPIES?

For puppies, we use NexGard Spectra. As each dose only lasts for one month, we can adjust the dose as they rapidly grow - we do recommend weighing your puppy every month before giving another dose as we want to be sure it matches their current size. The deworming aspect is also good for nosy, chewy pups.


IS THERE AN OPTION FOR CATS?

Cats are very fastidious and clean themselves constantly, so it is not as common that they pick up ticks. That said, if your cat spends quite a bit of time outdoors, we do recommend they have a pharmaceutical option instead of using the tick spray. The tick spray is topical, powerful - and cats just lick it off. The best pharmaceutical tick option for cats, NexGard, also de-worms, which is useful if outside cats find prey or carrion to munch on.

Our Famous Botanical Tick Repellant!

Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital's very own Botanical Tick Repellant comes in a gentle coat spray, that you can spray all over your fur kid's coat (avoid the eyes please!) This product smells extremely fragrant... but as long as your dog is flowery-stinky,  the spray is working to repel many of the ticks hiding in long grass and bushes.

We've sold thousands of bottles to happy tick-free hikers! 🥾🌷🐾

WHAT'S THE MAGIC INSIDE?

Rose geranium essential oil, from South Africa. The blooms of rose geranium are captured in a very precious, but extremely powerful deterrent to ticks. We've combined rose geranium essential oil with supportive lemongrass and lavender oils to create an effective, herbal tick repellent. The essential oils are carried in a organic, botanical base, made with plants from a permaculture farm in Quebec. 

HOW TO USE

Spray on the nape of your dog's neck, back and legs before frolicking outside. Avoid their eyes and nose, of course. Reapply when the scent is gone or after swimming. Avoid ingestion. Not recommended for cats.

ORGANIC, BOTANICAL INGREDIENTS 

Purified water, certified organic herbal blend of horsetail, sage, nettle leaf, Chinese ginseng, marigold and white camelia; organic hemp seed oil; lemongrass essential oil, lavender essential oil; rose geranium essential oil; amodimethadone and cetrimonium chloride and trideceth-12; panthenol; hydrolized rice protein; PPG-3 benzyl ether myrictate; vegetable glycerine; biotin; inositol; soy lecithin; polyaminopropyl biguanide

Don't let this scare you...

Remember, all this tick protection is not to freak you out - it's to keep your fur family safe so you can go outside and have a wonderful time! See you out there...






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