It’s The Time For Ticks!
Spring has finally come! For those of us that braved the brutal winter here in Indiana, it is a wonderful reward! With the reward of spring comes beautiful flowers, gardens and everything green. However, those flowers and warmer temperatures also mean ticks are here for the season. In northern Indiana we see ticks starting as early as February (when the temperature is warm enough) and they last through October.
The “Tick Boom” is typically in April and May. This is when the temperatures are most ideal for the ticks. Ticks don’t like really warm temperatures so tend to decrease in numbers in July and August. Once the weather cools in the fall, we see a resurgence of ticks for a couple of weeks sometime in September and October.
In this part of the country, we have Deer ticks and Dog ticks. The dog ticks are the big, brown ones that are easy to find on your pet. They do not transmit disease to your dogs or cats. Deer ticks are new to the area. They are small, black and harder to find. They also tend to leave small sores where they were attached. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme Disease to you and your dog.
The best way to avoid these obnoxious pests is with a prescription flea and tick preventative. Products we recommend are Nexguard and Frontline. Nexguard is a chewable tablet that you give your dog once a month. It is the best alternative for dogs that swim often. Frontline is a topical medication that is applied to the skin behind the neck once a month. No products repel ticks. The prescription products will kill the ticks within 12-24 hours (or less) of arrival on your pet and before they can transmit Lyme disease to your pet.
There is also a vaccination available for Lyme disease. If you routinely find ticks on your dog, it is important to vaccinate them for Lyme disease.