Sun's out, ticks are out!
We are all super excited to be getting outside again and exploring the beautiful Okanagan, but this warmer weather means those pesky ticks are back in season! Yep, that's right, early March and we're already seeing ticks come into Pandosy Village Vet. Below, get the inside scoop with our doctor's best, always updated recommendations for keeping your fur kids safe this year!
So, why are ticks so bad, anyway?
Ticks cause two issues - the first is tick paralysis. Every year we have terrified pet parents come panicked into the clinic when their cat or dog suddenly stops being able to walk. Tick paralysis is cause 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 keeps tick from biting.)
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 2022 map below for the areas of our province affected by these nasty 8-leggers. Learn more about Lyme disease from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Tick protection FAQs
IS THERE A HERBAL OPTION TO PROTECT MY DOG AGAINST TICKS?
To 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 IF I WANT TO KILL TICKS? I MEAN DEAD!!
To kill ticks, we recommend the prescription pharmaceutical Bravecto for adult dogs. This is your fool-proof tick solution.
Bravecto protects dogs against three types of ticks (+fleas) in one chewable dose, effective for three months. 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, Bravecto kills the feeding crawler, and protects your pup from any disease transmission.
For puppies, we use NexGard Spectra. It only lasts for one month, but that means we can change their dose as they rapidly grow. NexGard also deworms - which is good for nosy, chewy pups. We also recommend NexGard if you plan on doing a lot of travelling to warmer, more humid climates this year.
These medications do require a prescription from a veterinarian who has seen your pet in the last year. If you haven't brought your pet to Pandosy Village Vet in the last year, we are happy to schedule you in for a health consultation and a vet will prescribe the appropriate treatment.
DO YOU TEST TICKS OR DOGS 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 call and we will schedule your dog or cat in at the right time so the test is most accurate. There is a blood draw and a test charge, and if we haven't seen your pet in a while, they'll get a full exam with one of our amazing 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 into the provincial lab for you for a PCR test. Just the tick (dead or alive) in a ziplock bag with a moist bit of paper towel in the bag and we will send it in for. 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 lab and shipping/handling charge for all tick tests.
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...