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Ticks are becoming more prevalent in the Ottawa region, carrying with them potentially serious conditions such as Lyme disease. Due to increasing numbers of ticks, oral or topical prevention for all dogs has become one of our core recommendations. At minimum in Ottawa, dogs should be protected from ticks from early March to late December, but based on our increasingly milder winters some specialists are now recommending tick prevention year round, as ticks are active any time temperatures are around freezing. Preventing ticks protects not only our pets, but ourselves – ticks brought in the house on the dog will eventually drop off and hide in the house until they find their next victim!
Oral options for dogs are Nexgard (one tablet once monthly), Bravecto (one tablet every 12 weeks) and Simparica (one tablet once monthly). There are two topicals options which are K9 Advantix (one tube applied monthly) and Preventic (one tube applied monthly); both products have repellent properties to keep ticks and ALL biting insects off your dog. All products protect against ticks and fleas. We have a reminder system in place to track the medication one uses and when it is next due so that no doses are delayed or missed – owners can be contacted by phone or email.
Routine screening for Lyme and other tick borne diseases is strongly recommended. The “4Dx” blood test screens for Lyme and 2 other tick borne pathogens, as well as heartworm. Depending on a particular dog’s risk factors or known tick exposure, testing may be recommended every 1-2 years.
Good news for cat owners! There is a topical tick & flea prevention (Bravecto) that is currently available. It protects against ticks for 8 weeks & fleas for 12 weeks.
Please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns, or chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable veterinarians at your next visit.