Monthly Archives: October 2015

Vet Blog | Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic: Ticks 101

By: Dr. Patty Gabig
Tick Talk
I grew up during the 60’s in a small coal mining town on the edge of the Poconos. The veterinarian nearest to us was 12 miles away and he mainly did dairy work. Dogs and cats ran free in our neighborhoods and parasite control was limited to mainly flea baths, powders, and sprays. I honestly never recall hearing about a tick until many years later. Fleas, worms, and rabies shots were what we cared about in the 60’s. Oh my, how things have changed! If I had known then what I know now as a veterinarian, I would have not rolled down all those grassy hills as a kid. Good thing I didn’t know because it was a lot of fun! So now that I’m a veterinarian and am better informed about many of the potential dangers that lurk in our surroundings, it’s my duty to educate you so that you can make the best decision for your family (pets included, naturally :) ). I’ve included a list of facts about ticks below:
Tick Facts
• Don’t try removing ticks with a match—it will encourage the tick to spread the disease before it comes off. Try removing the tick with tweezers. Grasp it as close to the skin as possible and pull. If you don’t have any tweezers you can cut a slit in an index card or an old credit card and push the slit up under the tick continuing to move forward until it comes off. • Every tick in the United States can carry diseases. We recommend a 4dx blood test to be done every year. You may hear it called the “Heartworm Test” but it does much more than check for heartworm. It also tests for exposure to tick borne diseases such as Lyme, ehrlichia, and anaplasma. The last two you may never have heard of but we see positive tests quite frequently. You can learn more about them by going to the Veterinary Partner website and searching for “ticks” in the search bar. • Even if you don’t live near the woods you can still have a tick problem. Ticks crawl on the ground and up grass blades. Even pets living in New York City have gotten Lyme disease because ticks are everywhere. • April through November are high tick incidence months but we recommend to use tick preventative year round. I’ve personally seen pets that have Lyme disease in the middle of January. Quite a few of these Lyme positive pets are mainly indoor pooches that only go outside when nature calls. Usually these pets have not been on a preventative. • Be careful where you buy your flea/tick preventative, especially if you are buying it online. I have seen firsthand identical packaging of a popular flea/tick product that was confirmed by the company’s representative as counterfeit. The only difference in the packaging was a tiny orange dot that was strategically placed by the real manufacturer in order to determine it was theirs. This is why many preventative manufacturers won’t stand behind a product that is represented as theirs but was bought on a website through a third party. • When buying a flea/tick preventative, if it’s on sale check the expiration date to make sure it won’t expire before you can use it all. Expired product won’t necessarily harm your pet, it just may not work as well. • Laboratory tests for tick-borne disease in people are usually negative the first time around and usually require a second test two to three weeks later. • Ticks are only second to mosquitos in the number of diseases they transmit. • Cats can get ticks too. They can’t groom them away because the tick practically buries its mouth parts in the skin • Ticks can survive in less than ideal environments. We still see live ticks on pets in the dead of winter. if you would like more information about ticks, please visit either the Veterinary Partner or DVM 360 websites. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call us at 717-697-4481.

Vet Blog | Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic: Animal Safety & Protection Month

October was deemed  Animal Safety and Protection Month by the PALS Foundation to promote treating animals with kindness and care. We encounter animals in our everyday lives even if we don’t own any. Whether it is a wild or domestic animal, please treat them all with the same respect and courtesy you would to a human. They can’t speak up for themselves so we have to do it for them. There are many ways you can participate in National Animal Safety and Protection Month. Some are as simple as bringing your pet to the veterinarian regularly to ensure they live a long, healthy live. Others are more in depth and require you to create an evacuation/disaster plan should an emergency occur. Other ways you can participate in this event include: • Microchipping your pet • Making your pet wear a collar with identification tags on it • Calling and getting help for injured wildlife • Volunteer at your local animal shelter • Pet-proofing your home (electrical wires, small toys/clothing items they can choke on or that may obstruct their bowels, candles, toxic foods and plants) • Adopt a pet (but please do not adopt a pet for someone else. Owning a pet is a big responsibility and must be a decision the owner makes for him or herself) • Donating money or supplies to a shelter (blankets, pet food, pet beds, etc) • Educate your children and family on how to properly treat an animal • Have a pet first aid kit • Getting pet insurance. Having to choose between getting your pet good veterinary care and maintaining financial stability is never something we want you to experience. Visit our Trupanion page for information on getting a free 30-day trial • Securing your pets properly when traveling • Giving your pet a nutritious and balanced diet The list goes on and we hope you’re able to come up with some creative ideas on your own!