Don’t Get Ticked Off!
April signals the advent of tick season, which lasts until October. However, ticks are also active whenever it’s warmer than 4 degrees Celsius, so it’s important to be aware of the hazards they pose all year round. Here are some tips on what to be on the lookout for, how to prevent your pet from being a tick target, and what to do your pet is “bugged”
What are ticks?
Ticks are small bugs that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animal. While their bites are not harmful, ticks can carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to their victims, such as Lyme disease. Ticks can’t fly or jump so require close contact with a host – going for a walk in tall grassy and wooded areas throughout Alberta can make your dog easy prey. Changes in temperature, light and even vibrations on the ground alert ticks to an approaching animal, and they grab onto fur and burrow in to reach skin. There, they latch on and fill up on blood. Ticks can then be transmitted to humans when they fall off your dog and crawl onto you instead!
(Gross) fact: ticks are smaller than sesame seeds when feeding and grow to the size of a small grape when full!
Deer ticks, in particular, can carry a bacteria called borrelia burgdorferi, which can lead to Lyme disease. While rare in Alberta, Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms in people and pets, ranging from rashes to more serious joint, muscle, heart or nerve infections that can lead to permanent complications or disability. However, it takes 36 to 48 hours for a feeding tick to transmit the bacteria, so it’s important to find and remove them as soon as possible!
Oddly enough, tick bites don’t typically itch, so detecting them involve… a bit of detective work. If you’ve taken your dogs through tall grass or in the woods, or let your cats roam outdoors, inspect them carefully by running your fingers through their fur “backwards” from their tails towards their heads, focusing on their ears, faces, armpits, bellies and paws. If your pet is unfortunate enough to have carried home some tick-y passengers, take a pair of tweezers to pinch the tick off right at the surface of your pet’s skin. Do NOT just pull on the body, as it will pop off the head, which will remain embedded in your pet. Instead, pull the entire tick off gently without twisting or jerking. And no matter how many times you hear it, do NOT use Vaseline or cigarettes (ouch!).
One of the best ways to guard you and your beloved pet from ticks and potential disease is medicine that can be easily prescribed by your vet. There are two types: pills that can work to kill ticks that latch onto your pet (for up to three months), and topical creams that both repel and kill these pesky bugs.
We hope this has provided some good tick-nical advice on ticks, but for more information, here are additional resources:
–Leann Soon and Dr. Richard Long, DVM
Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Industry – We are human too
When pets are sick, emotions run high... we need to remember that veterinary professionals are trying to do their best. We invited Ashley Fischer to share her experience of what it's like working in the veterinary industry. I can honestly say without fail one comment...
Family Violence Prevention Month
Our organization is honored to be trusted in supporting 553 pets escaping family violence. Together we can increase awareness of the warning signs of family violence, resources and supports available in our communities. You can find or share these community...
Working for Parachutes for Pets
This summer I had the privilege of working with Parachutes for Pets. They do so much to help low income families and seniors in our community. Spreading this kind of kindness is what keeps me going. Knowing that I can impact someone else's life on levels I could never...
A Summer with Parachutes
A Summer with Parachutes I have never worked with people as passionate about their cause as Parachutes for Pets. In every interaction, you can tell how much Melissa and everyone on her team care for pets and their owners in need. They work tirelessly to help others...
My Experience With Parachutes For Pets
Generously written by a student from CAREERS program Throughout this summer I have been working with Parachutes For Pets from home. Through the Information, Communication and Technology internship, thanks to a guidance counselor at Our Lady of The Rockies, Mrs. Joanne...
Pet Grief & Loss Information
Generously written by Mariah McConnell Pets provide humans with a source of comfort and companionship which means the death or loss of a pet can have serious impacts on owners. Many owners view their pet as a member of their family but will come into contact with...
Double your impact!
From now until September 17th, we are honouring and celebrating the life of Stella. A beloved dog who brought 14 years of love and laughter to one of our generous donors. After owning, caring for, and loving Stella, our donor learned how essential a pet’s wellness is;...
Stella’s Wellness Tribute
We are honoured to share the amazing legacy of Stella in partnership with her beloved owners. The following is a tender testament to Stella by her owners, the donors of Stella’s Wellness Tribute.
Have a pet? Have a plan!
Sometimes simply loving your pet is not enough. Like most things in life, owning a pet comes with responsibilities and unexpected challenges. Over the last few months, we have had numerous individuals come to us with newly acquired pets that have no knowledge of the...
XhAle Brew Co.’s Tripawd Penelope NEIPA
XhAle Brew Co.'s Tripawd Penelope NEIPA launched in March partnered with Parachutes for Pets to pay back the kindness from a gofundme Christina, XhAle's founder, received when her cat lost a leg last year after an incident with a car. Without that kindness from her...