As we hunker down today against those nasty bellowing winds, it's important for you to know: the ticks are all but gone. As hardy as we are up here in Northwestern Minnesota, the ticks do their best to match our pace. Any time it is 30 degrees or warmer, the deer ticks are out and about, looking for their next snack. Even if there is a pile of snow in the yard, if it creeps above that temperature point, your canine and feline friends are at risk for picking up a hitchhiker.
An interesting website I urge you all to visit is CAPCvet.org. This website has comprehensive information for various parasites and their diseases on a state by state and regional basis. For instance, if you bring up their Lyme Disease map for Minnesota, it will let you know that 1 out of every 11 dogs tested has contracted Lyme Disease. Now THAT is a lot!
So what do we do?
Step 1: PREVENTATIVE! The best thing you can do to protect your dogs (and cats!) is to have them on a flea/tick preventative year round. The two products we carry are Bravecto, a chew for your dog that lasts 12 weeks, or Frontline, a topical that lasts 4 weeks per dose. Bonus to these products? They also prevent fleas. Check back for an upcoming blog post about those pesky pests as well.
Step 2: Vaccinate! In addition to providing your dog with a topical or chew to prevent those pesky parasites, it never hurts to back that up with a vaccination. Here at our pet clinics we provide a Lyme/Lepto combination vaccine that you can read more about here. Don't hesitate to call and set-up an appointment with your pet ASAP.
Winter weather doesn't stop parasites, so don't stop your companion's protection.