If you have been spending more time outdoors with your pets, make sure to check them for ticks.
Dr. Charlene Stevens, Veterinarian with The Cochrane and Area Humane Society says the tips you see online for ticks are not always the safest.
“Ticks are active all year long, but definitely, they are most active in Alberta in the spring and early summer period. When you find a tick you don't want to put anything on it like alcohol or a cigarette butt or wax or anything like that because that could actually make them inject diseases into your pet faster.”
“What you want to do is grab a pair of tweezers and grab right at the base of the skin and gently pull it out so that you get the head as well because that's the part that causes a lot of the inflammation and injects the disease. If you're not comfortable doing that you can definitely call your veterinarian, and they can take it out for you.”
Ticks live in long grass and in leaves and foliage under trees, which dogs usually gravitate to.
“50 percent of the ticks will go on the head area so that's the best place to look. The head and the neck, in and on the ears and in the inside of the ears and under the collar. Checking every day is really important.”
She says the best thing you can do is use preventive measures.
“What we do here at the shelter is, have your pet on monthly preventive that you can give orally or topically to prevent the ticks from actually being able to bite and inject diseases into your pet.”
After taking some extra steps to protect your four-footed friends, make sure to keep the tick.
“One thing you want to do is keep the tick in some kind of container and take it to your veterinarian so that they could submit it to check for diseases and to see what kind of tick it is. The second thing you want to do is talk to your veterinarian because about a month after they've been exposed, do some blood work to make sure your dog or your cat didn't get infected with some kind of disease like Lyme disease.”