The other day my partner said to me “I think I found a tick on the dog today, but it’s not tick season, right?” to which I responded “TICK SEASON DOES NOT EXIST!” It is often thought that ticks are only a concern during the Spring-Fall months – the thing is, ticks don’t use calendars. Ticks are active any time the temperature outside is above 0°C. Here in Nova Scotia, where the temperature can fluctuate drastically day to day, ticks are active all year round. Even on a day when it is below freezing, there can be warmer pockets in the forest where the temperature is above 0°C.
You should always be sure to check your dog for ticks after going for a brisk winter walk in the woods – they could have an 8-legged friend tagging along.
Ticks commonly wait in tall grass/brush using light and vibration sensors to detect when their next meal is walking by. They will jump on, start feeding and can remain attached for up to 72 hours. It is always best to remove a tick properly using a ‘tick twister’ to ensure the entire head is removed. You can always stop into our vet clinic and an assistant will be eager to assist!
Some ticks can carry transmissible diseases that they can pass to you or your pet, the most rampant in Nova Scotia being Lyme disease. Lyme disease often displays no clinical signs so it can sometimes go undiagnosed. When symptoms do arise, they can be very vague such as fever, shifting lameness or overall lethargy. Ticks and Lyme disease are no joke! Contact your vet today to discuss what tick prevention option is best for your pet!