Dogs and cats are commonly exposed to ticks as a result of their outdoor activities and are susceptible to a number of tick-borne diseases. Dogs may become infected with Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis to name a few, and though cats do not typically exhibit symptoms of Lyme disease, they can contract other tick-borne diseases. In addition to dogs and cats, horses and other livestock are susceptible to tick-borne diseases. If you suspect your animal has been bitten by a tick and it is displaying changes in behavior or appetite consult your veterinarian.
To limit your pet’s exposure to potential tick-borne infections, it’s important to:
- Perform routine tick checks on your pets, particularly after they have spent time outdoors.
- Immediately remove any ticks you may find on your pets (see Tick Removal for more information).
- Reduce tick habitat in and around your yard.
- Ask your veterinarian to perform a tick check at each exam and discuss tick-borne diseases in your area.
- Talk with your veterinarian about available vaccines and using acaricides (tick pesticides) and repellents on your pet.
- It is important to note that cats are extremely sensitive to a number of chemicals. Do not treat your pets with a tick preventative without first consulting a veterinarian.