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Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital
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Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital - Tick Information


(For a description of all tick borne diseases click on "TICKS" above)



Ticks can cause a variety of medical problems for your dog, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In large enough numbers, ticks can cause dangerous amounts of blood loss, especially in young animals. An effective tick control program is essential to your dog's good health, and always involves treating both the environment and the animal.




Tick Control and Prevention 2017

Environmental Tick Control

Tick control in the environment generally involves treating the yard and kennel areas. We prefer an environmentally-safe spray containing fenvalerate for this purpose. Follow product directions carefully. You may need to spray every 7 to 14 days during peak tick months. Remember that cold, frosty fall weather does not kill ticks (in fact, that is when deer tick numbers are usually at their peak), so treat your yard well into the fall and early winter. Regardless of the product used, remember not to spray where runoff could go into lakes or rivers. Removing leaves and clearing brush and tall grass from around the house and kennel areas can also help reduce the number of ticks.


Local Tick Species

  • The Brown Dog Tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus is the most troublesome tick in kennels and yards and is found almost everywhere. It can complete its life cycle in about 2 months, and although uncommon, it can become established indoors. If you do encounter an indoor tick problem, use a flea and tick fogger, spray or powder. Fog as you would for fleas. In the house, ticks tend to crawl to a higher area (like they do in grass). They may be found in cracks around windows and doors. Because of this tendency and the fact that ticks crawl, and do not jump or fly, another option is to apply a 1-foot barrier of insecticide such as a flea and tick spray or powder where the carpet meets the wall around the entire room. As a result, ticks moving to the walls to climb higher will come in contact with the insecticide and be killed. And, finally, remember to wash your pet's bedding regularly.
  • The Texas Lone Star Tick has also been found in our area. These ticks move very fast when they sense motion in their vicinity, and will attach rapidly to both dogs and people.
  • The Black Legged Deer Tick​ can transmit Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis to dogs, horses, and humans. The different life stages of adult and nymph make this tick active all year.


Tick Control on Your Pet

There are many tick control products for pets, including once-a-month topical products, sprays, powders, dips, shampoos, and collars. We now recommend year round oral once-a month tablets as they have proven to be safe and effective. Deer ticks are active through out the year as our climate has become generally milder.

Once-a-month Oral Prevention:  At the Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital the once-a-month oral preventatives we use and recommend are Nexgard, Simparica, and Bravecto. These oral medications help with not just tick prevention, but fleas as well. These tablets are an effective alternative to the topical preventatives we have relied on in the past. Please call our clinic and to see which medication would be a good choice for your dog. Certain health histories may prevent some dogs from being able to safely take one of these medication. 

**While flea and tick products do a very good job of preventing infestations or controlling an existing problem, none are 100% effective all of the time. It's always a good idea to check your pet (and yourself) for ticks after a trip to the woods or grassy field. If you do find an attached tick, read our article How To Remove a Tick before going it on your own.**


One last point: If deer ticks and Lyme disease are present where you live, you may want to consider administering a Lyme vaccine to your dog to provide that extra protection. Your veterinarian can tell you if this extra precaution is a good idea for your area.

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