Tricky Ticks – Avoiding Lyme Disease

Photo courtesy of DVM360

Just because ticks are small, doesn’t mean they can’t pack a big punch. These small bugs can cause huge issues for your dog’s health. Here are some ways for you to help keep your pup protected.

We recommend your furry family member be on a preventive year-round since ticks can survive when the weather is cooler. Our new recommendation for flea and tick prevention is a product called Simparica. This preventive starts killing ticks within 8 hours of ingestion and is effective for up to 35 days. Simparica covers five different types of ticks, 4 of which can be found in Illinois – Brown Dog Tick, Deer Tick, American Dog Tick and Lone Star Tick. An infected Deer Tick (aka the Blacklegged Tick) can spread Lyme Disease with a bite but usually must be attached for at least 36-48 hours.

If you plan to take your dog to heavily wooded areas, you may want to discuss with your doctor about having them receive a Lyme vaccine. This is a yearly vaccine and can help prevent the transmission of Lyme disease if your dog is bitten by an infected tick. If your furry family member has never received this vaccine before, they will need to come in for an initial vaccine and come back for a booster 3-4 weeks later.

Although your pup may be on a highly effective preventative, we still recommend doing routine tick checks. Even though Simparica is designed to kill ticks, they can still get into your home via your dog. The best way to do a tick check is to start at one end of your dog and work your way down their body. Ticks especially like to latch on dog’s heads and ears. Don’t forget to check between their toes and inside their legs. Use enough pressure that you can feel your dog’s skin – this is particularly helpful with dog with long fur. Just keep in mind, ticks can be as small as a grain of sand and be as large as a blueberry.

Check out these tick removal tips below from DVM360!

For more information on Lyme Disease, please read our previous blog. If you have any further questions about Lyme Disease prevention, please call us at: (773) 327-4446.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.