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Protecting Pets and Livestock from Ticks

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Tick season is here, and even though it is early, ticks are showing up. Usually, late March and early April are the worst months, and by June the ticks aren’t as bad, but they do hang around all summer.

Dr. Sarah Schreiber of Moxey Schreiber Veterinary Hospital in Sheridan, talked about the fact that ticks are often seen in late January and February on horses. She had some tips on how to prevent ticks on horses.

Other livestock can get ticks as well, Dr. Schreiber talked about avoiding ticks on bum lambs and calves. She recommended over the counter fly and tick repellent, make sure that the spray is formulated to kill ticks.

She added that a good dewormer can often cut down on the ticks. She recommended that the owner read the label to make sure it is safe for the livestock it is being applied to.

When asked about tick borne diseases in animals, she said that here in Sheridan County they don’t see these as often in horses as they might in other parts of the United States.

With pets, especially hunting dogs that might be in the tall grass along waterways, which can be a haven for tickets, another local vet stated that there are many ways to help to keep ticks off the dogs. Tick and flea spray can be effective, but if the dog goes in and out of the water frequently, the spray should be reapplied.

Sometimes it works better to use the spray in combination with a monthly preventative, so it can kill any ticks that might attach themselves to the dog. Be sure and check with your vet about which medicines can be used together. Do not use dog medicines on cats, as it can make them sick.

Ticks can be everywhere, even on mowed lawns, so it pays to be vigilant. Flea and tick collars are available for both dogs and cats to help to prevent ticks. If the owner is worried about ticks on their pets after being outside, the pets can be given a bath with an over-the-counter flea and tick shampoo designed to kill the ticks.

Cats aren’t as susceptible to ticks, they are usually better at grooming themselves, but ticks can sometime get in the dog or cat’s ear canal and attach themselves near the ear drum. Symptoms include a vigorous shaking of the head or excessive scratching at the ear. Should this happen, the tick will have to be removed by a veterinarian.

There are not as many tick-borne diseases in the Sheridan area that can be transmitted to pets, but it can happen. It is also a concern that the animal can bring the tick into the house and the tick will then attach themselves to humans, possibly bringing along a tick-borne disease.

Removing the tick for a dog or cat can be difficult, and if the hooked mouth parts of the tick are left under the skin after removal they can cause an infection in the animal. If there is a question, contact your veterinarian, so they can remove the tick completely.

Using these helpful hints can keep the livestock and pets safe and healthy.



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