We are not into tick season yet and ticks are already showing up on pets. Summer is usually when tick season flares up, but right now we are seeing an increase because of the ongoing drought.
Veterinarian Holly Hoffman says, "It's not just as simple as let's treat the dog for ticks. You have to think about yourself and your children as well because you can catch the same diseases." Hoffman wants pet owners to be on the lookout. Not only because ticks can transmit different diseases but because finding one tick on your pet means there is more. She comments, "If your are not killing the adult tick by a monthly preventative they are also going to have eggs that hatch as well."
Ticks are always around Hoffman says. Certain tick life cycles will thrive in all types of environmental conditions. So keeping pets on tick preventative medication is very important. Hoffman says tick eggs can live on a host for up to 12 months. "A lot of times you will not find the tick. They are very small and they hide so well under the fur and a lot of times a tick will not be detected until it has taken enough blood so it's big and fat."
Ticks also transfer from animal to animal very quickly. If your pet comes in contact with any other animals Hoffman says always check your pet. She says brush your pet and check ears and between their paws because those are common places ticks like to hide. Hoffman says the best way to keep your pet healthy is with medication. "You have your animal on a monthly prevention and it has to be all year long to really get the full benefits of it. Then the likelihood of them getting an infestation decreases significantly."
Experts say when dogs get into brushy woody areas is when a pet owners really need to be watching for ticks. Experts also say ticks are more of a problem with dogs than cats.