Even though it has been unusually warm in the lowcountry, typically it is getting colder this time of year. This means the ticks will become more active and looking for warmth. Your pet makes the perfect target for the ticks. Ticks stick out their legs and wait for a host to past by and latch on. The ticks can be found many places from Kiawah to the dog park on James Island and everywhere in between. Knowing what ticks look like and how to deal with them is the best for you and your pet. South Carolina has deer ticks, lone-star ticks, and dog ticks. However, Lyme’s disease is not as prevalent in South Carolina as it is in other places. A pet that travels north, however, could pick up the disease there and then travel back to the lowcountry and start showing signs here. There are other tick diseases to be concerned about such as Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; both can pose a threat to pets and their human companions. Ticks are found worldwide and are closely related to spiders, with not natural predators. With no predators they can thrive in the right environment, with females laying over 3,000 eggs each time. Ticks feed on blood and “swell” as they eat from their host.
To keep your pet safe using a product labeled for ticks such as Frontline, Nexguard, or a tick collar is important. I do want to note that Trifexis is not labeled for ticks; so another product would be best if ticks are a concern for your pet. It is also a great idea to look over your pet after coming inside and using a comb to brush him out. Ticks want to be in a warm place, such as the armpits, groin, ears, neck, etc. Any ticks found on the pet should be removed as soon as possible and disposed of properly. Ticks are very small when not engorged so they can be difficult to find, but it is important to locate them. The products labeled for ticks are still not repellants, so your pet will still have contact and ticks may still be found on your pet, but they will be dying because of the products used.
Once a tick has been removed the area may remain red and raised for several weeks, if it persists or you are concerned be sure to let us know at Angel Oak Animal Hospital. Ticks are a pest and can cause problems for pets and humans, using products help your pet and also knowing what to look for is what is best for you and your pet. If you have any questions contact AOAH and let us help you understand what is best for your situation.
Picture from: http://southernscapesllc.com/outer-banks-nc-and-southeast-va-landscaping/top-tips-battling-ticks-obx-nc-va-2/