Remember when you used to hear warnings about tucking your pants into your socks before wandering in Point Pelee National Park? Those warnings were to prevent people from getting Lyme disease from the deer ticks found in the Park. Thanks to environmental change we now have ticks in our area that carry the organism responsible for Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.
Different species of ticks carry different disease causing organisms. If you take your pet with you across the border you might pick up an extra passenger. Your pet might return with either Ehrlichiosis or Anaplasmosis. Both of these diseases attack the blood cells causing either severe anemia or immune deficiencies. As with Lyme disease, people can also suffer from Ehrlichiosis.
Ticks become active in temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius. Because we have been experiencing extreme variations in winter temperatures and we are seeing an increase in the number of pets with tick borne diseases, we are now recommending year round prevention for fleas and ticks. Depending on which prevention you choose, it can also protect your pet against Sarcoptic Mange, which we discussed in last month’s newsletter.
Don't worry though, prevention of flea diseases and related issues is simple. Bring your dog in annually for a simple blood test that will detect the presence of B. burgdorferi, Ehrlicia, Anaplasma and Heartworm and we can treat it accordingly so larger issues don't develop.