I had a thoroughly disgusting run in with ticks last weekend and I am now waging war on the horrid creatures. I have always known about ticks and taken several off of my dogs over the years but last weekend was a first. Not only did they have ticks; they had lots and lots of ticks. We just moved to CT where people confirmed "yep there are ticks." But we were also told that we didn't have to worry at this time of year; so I was leaving my worrying for later on. We were walking in a beautiful park that is right near our house; this was our third trip to this specific park.
The first time through the park we didn't seem to pick up anything; we had stayed mostly on the paved paths because we'd never been there but did see that there were natural paths through the entire park. The next visit was glorious and covered with snow so of course I didn't worry about ticks. Our visit last weekend was through one of those forest paths; it was quiet and beautiful. We had only let the dogs off leash for a short time as it is very hilly and difficult to see who is around the corner. Once we were done we hopped in the car and went home.
At home both my husband and I noticed two very tiny black dots on the top of Luke's neck; and at the same time we both said "better check that those aren't ticks." Oh yes they were ticks. I hate ticks, I mean really really hate. I can deal with spiders, mice, lizards and even snakes, but not ticks, I despise the little parasitic things. Even though they are very tiny they carry a great deal of danger with them. Not only is there the risk of contacting Lyme's disease but lots of other diseases as well.
So after discovering that those specks were indeed ticks, the freaking began. I don't get hysterical, it's more a calm smoldering rage. I took both dogs down to the grooming area and commenced to brush. Over 15 ticks in all is what I found on the two dogs. FIFTEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found the most on Elsa and they were already a good way down her coat. I immediately put Frontline plus on Elsa but not Luke. Luke is epileptic and the application alone could kill him. I went over him with a fine tooth comb hoping I'd gotten them all. Of course for days afterwards I've been scratching my own head with a major case of heebie jeebies. Honestly, they should all just die; I see no good use for these vial creatures.
So several days later I have found an embedded tick in Luke's neck while grooming him. I immediately pulled it out; treated his wound with neosporine and took the tick to the Greenwich Health Center where they will test ticks for Lyme and other diseases. I have to wait until next week to see if it indeed was carrying Lyme. The guy in the white coat told me that it did look like a female deer tick but we need to see what the test says about Lyme. If it was infected then Luke will be treated with Doxycycline for approx. 30 days. Depending on where you are and your vet the treatment may be different. But it is treated with antibiotics for an extended period of time.
Catching it early is very important although sometimes you just cannot; you may not have ever known that a tick was even on your dog. It may have latched on, ate for the full extension of their visit and dropped off leaving your dog. Then the disease sets in and you may or may not notice the signs until they become more prevalent. At this point it may be too far along to stop some chronic illnesses that your dog will suffer.
So you know, you or your dog cannot contact Lyme disease from another dog or human. You must indeed be bitten by the infected bug itself. After researching the subject of ticks the cause is a shift in the wildlife populations. What the answer is to make it right is up for debate. We have nearly rid the land of the large predators that prey on deer and used up much of the land in the forest where the deer use to live. Now they must come into the lands where we live looking for food. One thing is for sure, I say we band together and eradicate ticks; they surely are waging a war against us and our dogs.
Ticks in Canada
University of Guelph information
Canadian Lyme disease foundation
Center for disease control and prevention
American Lyme disease foundation
Lime disease in dogs - CT Humane Society