Ticks in Dogs and Cats

Here in Whitehouse and all of East Texas, ticks on dogs and cats can be a problem for pet owners. While ticks are not nearly as common as fleas around here, they are a health threat to your pet.

Unlike fleas, ticks actually attach themselves to your pet with their mouthparts and hang on by secreting a glue like substance into the wound they make. That’s why it’s hard to remove a tick that is embedded on us or our pets. Once attached they literally feed by sucking blood from their host. In small numbers, that may not be such a big deal. But in very large numbers of infestation that is sometimes seen, severe, even life threatening anemia can occur.

Perhaps the greater threat from ticks are related to infections that they can bring on board your dog or cat, infections that are very dangerous and can create life long damage or even death. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, and Erhlichiosis are at least three tick borne diseases that occur in dogs and cats. These diseases can cause damage to joints and bones, to kidneys, liver, and even bone marrow. These tick borne illnesses are treatable if they’re caught early.

As always, the best treatment of a disease is prevention. Check your pet daily for ticks. Especially check between toes, in or around ears, and under their tummies and “arm pits” since these are favorite targets for tick attachment. Remove them promptly if found. It’s OK to pull a tick off it they are attached by using constant firm pressure until they snap off the pet. Or a tick spray applied to the tick will cause it to die.

At the Rannals Small Animal in Whitehouse, we carry several tick products for your pets, including Revolution, Bravecto for dogs and cats, and Preventic collars. These products help reduce the chances of your pet getting a tick borne illness, but daily inspection of your pet’s coat for ticks is still important. Call us at 903-839-7235 if you have any questions, or to make an appointment.