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By March 1, 2024 March 27th, 2024 Cats, Dogs, Newsletter

Tick season has arrived early this year!

By Drs. Leigh & Bronwyn Chisholm

As Spring begins to make an appearance and the days start to grow longer, we have many things to look forward to, from warmer weather and more time spent outdoors, to the arrival of flowers, birds, and other lovely animals. There is one creature, however, that we wish was not invited to the party! Ticks begin to emerge from their winter slumber as soon as temperatures reach 0-4°C. Although commonly thought of as insects, ticks are actually arachnids, similar to scorpions, spiders, and mites. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host, which can include pets and people.

Once a tick has latched onto its host, it can begin to transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia into the pet’s bloodstream. The disease-carrying ticks in Manitoba are the Deer, or Black legged tick. Deer ticks are considerably smaller than Wood or Dog ticks, which always get our attention due to their large size. Some Deer ticks (the nymphs) can be as small as a spec of dirt, making it next to impossible to see if our pets have picked up any of these passengers. This is why we want to target and kill these pesky creatures before they have a chance to do any harm to our furry friends. We do this by using a monthly preventative medication, which can be supplied by your veterinarian.

Due to our unusually mild winter this year, we are bumping up the start of tick season to March 1st, whereas we would normally begin around April 1st. Even if there is still a layer of snow on the ground, with these warmer temperatures, something as simple as a dog laying on the snow for a few minutes can be enough to melt the snow and wake up ticks that may be hiding underneath in the grass and foliage. If you would like additional information on the products we recommend, or would like to arrange to pick up these medications, please reach out to us by phone or email and we would be happy to help!

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