Tick Talk - Fall Version
“Ticks are out now???? Really, I thought the season was over”!!!
We are hearing this everyday now at the front desk. It’s actually the exact opposite. Ticks do not like the heat and humidity of summer. They prefer cooler weather as we are experiencing right now. Like clockwork, as soon as the temperature dropped, the telephone started to ring with clients that have seen or pulled ticks off their pets.
The main concern with ticks is Lyme Disease. Lyme is a tick-borne bacterial disease which affects both humans and animals. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria, is transmitted by the lxodes species of tick which acquire the bacteria when they feed on infected animals. The tick then transmits this bacteria to other animals or people when they attach and feed again.
Black legged ticks (deer ticks) typically become infected with the Lyme-causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, during their larval stage when they feed on infected white-footed mice and ground-feeding birds. The infected nymph or adult tick then transmits the bacteria to people and domestic animals when it attaches and takes a blood meal.
As our weather and environment changes, so do tick habits. The general rule of thumb used to be the 4 and 20 rule. That means ticks like it when the temperature is in between 4 and 20 degrees Celsius. However, more and more we are seeing ticks right into January and February. Thus, we recommend using tick prevention all year round.
Also, risk areas used to be limited to brush, shrubs and woodlands, but now we are hearing that ticks are being found on pets that are only in their own backyard. Ticks are definitely becoming an urban problem.
If you find a tick on your pet, we can remove it for you. Or you can pick up tick twisters at the clinic to remove on your own.
Prevention is the key to stopping the spread of ticks and disease. If your pet isn’t on prevention right now, then please come by the clinic to pick up. If you have questions about prevention, please don’t hesitate to call us at 905-372-2721.