We’re in tick season in Minnesota and Wisconsin now, and it’s a long season… this year, clients started to tell us about ticks on their dogs in February, and we expect to be hearing the same stories up until December. Wood ticks and deer ticks differ in size, and a bit in appearance (who’s looking that closely?!), but both species can transmit disease to your dog, even if your dog spends minimal time outside. Because of their grooming habits, it is unusual for cats to have problems with ticks.
Prevention is best with tick-borne diseases. Your dog should be vaccinated for Lyme’s disease yearly, and Frontline Plus should be used to prevent ticks from attaching long enough to transmit bacteria. Most tick diseases require the tick to be attached and feeding for at least 24-48 hours. If your dog is protected with Frontline Plus, ticks will die within a few hours of attaching to the skin. Frontline should be continued into November, as ticks will be active during these months.
All of the diseases we list here have been diagnosed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and all have been seen by our practice.