Creature Feature
Bloodsuckers are on the loose early this year

Dr. Dan Meakin
Tick season is apparently in full swing whether we like it or not.

Dogs and cats with ticks attached are showing up at our offices much earlier this year than usual. Most owners didn’t even realize there was a disease-carrying, blood-sucking parasite on their pet.

As is the case with many conditions, we found the ticks during routine exams.

You probably already know that ticks are dangerous because they drink blood from the host animal. As if that’s not bad enough, ticks also transmit serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Whereas a pet must be heavily infested to experience substantial blood loss, just a single tick can give your pet a deadly disease.

Ticks can also attach to people and other animals in your household.

Keeping your pet away from woods, tall grass, and shrubbery will go a long way toward protecting him from ticks. But how realistic (and fun) is that? If you don’t want your pet to live in a bubble, a good tick preventive is necessary.

You may have heard me say before that over-the-counter tick (and flea) products are a waste of money. It’s still just as true as the first time I said it. They are nowhere near as effective as the preventives available only from veterinarians. After all, you want something that actually works, right?

Most veterinarians offer a variety of effective tick and combo products to protect dogs and cats. If you’re not sure which suits your pet best, your vet will be glad to help you make the right choice.

Dr. Dan Meakin is the owner of All Creatures Animal Hospital, 1894 Ohio Pike in Amelia. Call (513) 797-PETS.