There seems to be a bumper crop of ticks afield this spring.
Each evening after walking my bird dog through the prairie and
woods, I’ve pulled dozens of deer and wood ticks off each of us.
Hours later, at 3 a.m., I wake up in a cold sweat and find what I
hope is the last one crawling up my arm.
Unfortunately, ticks aren’t just annoying; they can be serious
health hazards for humans and dogs alike. Here are a few key
factors to be aware of in keeping your bird dog healthy during tick
season. Special thanks to my dog’s veterinarian at White Bear
Animal Hospital in White Bear Lake, MN, for the tick guidance.
Most commonly connected to Lyme disease, ticks also carry a very
serious disease called anaplasmosis, also known as “dog fever.”
Anaplasmosis symptoms may include arthritic-like stiffness in your
dogs’ joints, lameness, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting,
diarrhea, lethargy and even seizure.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is another tick transmitted disease
problematic for dogs. In fact, severe cases can lead to death.
Although the disease is most common in the Rocky Mountain states,
it is prevalent across the country.
According to my vet, Frontline kills ticks that bite your dog and
Advantix repels AND kills ticks. To me, the combo platter of
repellant and killer made K9 Advantix sound more attractive, which
led me to question why my vet didn’t even carry the product. Her
explanation: a number of the clinic’s doggy patients had shown
allergic reactions to K9 Advantix, while Frontline users never
encountered those problems.
My vet also recommended applying tick preventative to my dog
every three weeks, as opposed to the four week-cycle recommended on
the packaging. According to my vet, some research has shown the
medication’s power tends to fade beginning at three weeks, and she
thought it’d be worthwhile for me to err on the side of
over-protection considering my dog’s propensity to run through
thick cover and encounter a bunch of ticks.
I also asked about the theory a tick had to be biting your dog
for at least 24 hours before a disease could be transmitted. She
said that was mostly false and added that some recent research
concluded the primary disease agents are juvenile deer ticks so
tiny they’d likely go undetected on the dog’s fur before they had
successfully burrowed underneath your dog’s skin.
Do you have any special tick prevention