Joplin veterinarians recognize that Summer brings new dangers to our pets, so tick awareness is crucial during this time. Warm weather brings tick development and they hungrily move searching for a blood meal. Ticks are not particular with their bite; they take blood from wildlife, pets, and us. Tall grasses, dead or alive, bushes, and rock retaining walls are all excellent harbors for ticks to survive the winter. Our pet may have a short time in the yard and come back loaded with ticks. Ticks bites cause intense reactions that may hurt, itch, or just make our pets uncomfortable. These bites can become infected with scratching claws or nails and biting teeth. Small dogs and cats can lose so much blood from the ticks attached that they become severely anemic (low blood volume), requiring a blood transfusion. Mildly anemic animals are susceptible to other illnesses as their immune system is compromised.
Ticks can spread many other diseases also. Dogs are susceptible to contracting Ehrlichia, Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (not just confined to the Rocky Mountains anymore) from ticks. These diseases may cause illness shortly after the tick bites or develop over months after the bite. These tick diseases often mimic other diseases, which makes it difficult for your veterinarians to diagnosis. These same diseases may develop in cats, but the occurence is much less than in dogs. Cats must be protected from an emerging problem called Cytauxzoonosis. Five years ago this disease was a rare problem in Joplin. Last year, your Cornerstone Joplin veterinarians treated fifteen confirmed cases. Half of these cats were so severely ill that they either died during treatment or were euthanized. This disease kills healthy cats so tick prevention is imperative!
Joplin veterinarians recommend tick control on any pet that is exposed to infested areas. Your Joplin veterinarians at Cornerstone as part of Tick Awareness Month (March) are offering a 5% discount on all tick products, in addition to the already great deals of free doses with the purchase of a 3 or 6 pack.