Tick Prevention for Dogs and Cats in Shrewsbury, NJ
New Jersey has the second highest number of Lyme cases in the U.S. However, only a few species of ticks actually bite and transmit this disease (and other tick-borne illnesses). These critters are a threat to ourselves and our pets, yet there are ways to prevent them from making your family members victims. Our animal hospital has provided the following tick protection and prevention tips for both you and your pets.
Types of Biting Ticks in Shrewsbury
There are four types of ticks that can potentially bite and transmit disease to you and your pets. These include:
- Black-legged tick (or dear tick). This tick is the only known carrier of Lyme disease, yet it can also transmit anaplasmosis and babesiosis.
- American dog tick. Transmitted diseases include tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Brown dog tick. This tick rarely bites humans, but is a big threat to our dogs. It can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Lone Star tick. While associated with Texas, this tick has spread north and now threatens us with Heartland virus, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.
Preventing Ticks From Biting Dogs and Cats
Preventing tick bites is the surest way to protect yourself and your pet from tick-borne diseases. Follow these tips for your pet and yourself:
- Apply your pet’s parasite preventative according to its directions (most are monthly). Consistent protection from these medications means ticks will be deterred from attaching to your pet, and even if they do, they will die soon after, reducing the risk of transmitting disease.
- Clear your yard of tick-friendly habitats such as piles of leaves, brush, and tall grass.
- Be sure to wear long-sleeves and pants when hiking in tick-infested areas. It’s also a good idea to use tick repellant and/or treat your clothing with permethrin to further ward off ticks.
- When hiking in wooded areas, stay in the middle of the path to avoid brushing up against leaves and grass, where ticks may be hiding.
- Always check yourself and your pet for ticks after coming in from outdoors. The sooner a tick is found and removed, the lower the risk of disease transmission.
How to Remove Ticks from Dogs and Cats
To safely remove an attached tick, follow these steps:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull straight up with steady, even pressure.
- Place the tick in a sealable container or bag if you plan on having the tick identified or tested for disease.
- Monitor the bite wound as well as your pet’s symptoms to watch for any signs of illness.
- Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if you notice any change in behavior or signs of illness. Be sure to let your veterinarian know your pet was recently bitten by a tick so the appropriate tests can be performed.
If you have any further questions or concerns about tick protection, please contact our animal hospital at 732-268-8180.