Spring March-es in on the Back of a Tick

by Barb S. on April 9, 2012

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It's no fun having a tick-borne illness. Baci with Anaplasmosis (note swollen left paw).

It's no fun having a tick-borne illness. Baci with Anaplasmosis (note swollen left paw).

Up here in the usually brittle March Northwoods, flowers are blooming, birds are flocking to feeders, and I just found three ticks on my dog (Rudder), two of them already imbedded and causing a skin reaction.

Although May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the early Spring across the country is bringing warmer weather parasites to our homes in unprecedented numbers and earlier than before. Veterinarians are advising their clients to be prepared early this year. “The unusually warm weather across the nation this winter has prevented ticks from dying off as they usually do…” Dr. Kathy Hillestad, one of our veterinarians, told me. This means that we have to be extra vigilant about getting flea and tick preventives on our animals. In addition, parasitologists have warned that nowadays ticks can carry multiple diseases:

Poor Rudder had another tick on his snout!

Poor Rudder had another tick on his snout!

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis (Piroplasmosis)
  • Cytauxzoonosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Haemobartonellosis in Dogs and Cats
  • Hepatozoonosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Tularemia in Dogs and Cats

Statistically, this means that if your pet gets bitten by a tick, it increases the chance that he’ll get sick. This is even more reason to get going with that parasite protection.

K9 Advantix® II Flea & Tick Control Treatment for Dogs

I would have been prepared any other year- I immediately put K-9 Advantix II on him and am hoping that the ticks that were imbedded before I removed them didn’t transmit Lyme, Ehrlichiosis or Anaplasmosis to him. About 5 years ago, I had a Newf (Baci) with Anaplasmosis, and only knew it when I felt his foot next to me on the couch and noticed how warm and hugely swollen it was. Luckily I caught it early enough to be treated, although it was expensive.

It’s April now and Rudder hasn’t had a tick since I put the preventive on him. I still have to be observant, though, and search through his massive coat to catch ticks before they attach and have a chance to cause a tick bite reaction or worse.

Learn about another author’s experience with Lyme Disease.

Flea and Tick Control


About the author: Barb is a Certified Veterinary Technician with degrees in Journalism and German Studies from the University of Minnesota. She lives happily in the northwoods of Wisconsin with her Newfoundland, Rudder, her tuxedo cat, Max, and her adopted cockatiel, Frank. Barb is Senior Copywriter for Drs. Foster and Smith and has been with the company since 1999. See more articles by Barb S.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathi Fosburg April 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

I hate ticks. And yes, saw the first one in mid-March here in the upper peninsula of Michigan! #PETS

Sara Yahn April 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

In my opinon, K-9 Advantix is the best product out there. My neighbor used a different brand and 2 of her dogs got heartworm. It was so sad to see how it effected her dogs. Luckily they survived but you can still see the effects on them (this happened summer of 2011). When I heard that her dogs got heartworm, I immediately went to my vet with my animals and got them all tested, luckily they came out negative. Main thing that I have learned is that you HAVE TO give them the medications at the same time each month & make sure you dont miss a dose!
#Pets CatSpa

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