TICKS! Why do we have to worry about them now?

Ticks can bite from 4 degrees Celsius and above. If spring comes early then ticks may show up earlier than in past years. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease that are very dangerous for our canine companions.

How to protect our dogs from Tick Borne Diseases?

    1. Reduce tick exposure

   2. Check for, and promptly remove ticks

   3. Use tick preventive medications

   4. Vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease.

Talk to your veterinary team about your dogs lifestyle and therefore risks in our area.  They will be able to provide you with specific details as to the best preventative options in your situation. A great web site for further information about this and other diseases of risk to our pets is www.wormsandgermsblog.com.

Christmas Trees and Pets

Many people have concerns with holiday decorations but most questions are to do with Christmas trees.

  1. plan location - near a plug so no long electrical cords and not in centre area so will not get knocked over.
  2. prepare area - put down plastic bag to catch needles for easy clean up lowering risk of chewing them.
  3. secure the tree - cats climb and dogs run into things - lowers that risk.
  4. hide electric cords to prevent chewing, electrocution, tripping.
  5. no hooks - some pets chew these.
  6. safe ornaments - pets may consider these toys.
  7. ribbons and tinsel can be ingested causing obstructions.
  8. presents - do not put wrapped food under the tree that could be chewed up…especially chocolate!
  9. supervise - many pets will not have issues with trees but some need more supervision than others!

If you have any questions about your holiday decorations, please contact your veterinary team.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar substitute and is extremely toxic to dogs. It does occur naturally but when used commercially the concentration is too high for dogs to handle and can cause a low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and even death.  Xylitol can be found in sugar-free gum, candies, baked goods, cough syrup, chewable vitamins, toothpaste, some peanut-butters and many other products. Signs of Xylitol poisoning may include, weakness, vomiting, depression, tremors, other. Exposure seems to be on the rise due to increased use in products. Please keep these products away your dog and check with your veterinary team if you have any concerns.

Tick Control Alternatives

The return of spring means the return of parasites like fleas and ticks. Over the past few years, our ability to control these bugs, especially ticks, has been restricted to the use of collars and other topicals that were messy and had the potential of toxicity to cats and other creatures like fish. 

Starting last fall, new oral flea and tick medications were launched in Canada that have revolutionized our ability to protect our pets. While nothing is 100% guaranteed in biology, these products are efficacious, safe and easy to use. 

Give us a call so we can discuss if these medications would be beneficial for your dog. Remember, tick prevention should be started as soon as the temperature gets to 4C consistently, regardless of the amount of snow on the ground. Hopefully this will be soon!

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