Could there be anything more frightening than the Wicked Witch of the West? Hold onto your “Toto” because the fact that we live in an area endemic for numerous tick borne diseases should send shivers up your spine. The most commonly encountered tick borne diseases in southeastern Pennsylvania include, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. Rare but occasional cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Babesiosis have also been known to occur in our area. Symptoms of tick borne disease can vary, but an affected dog is typically lethargic and febrile, with swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and lameness. Some tick-borne diseases cause white blood cells and platelet levels to drop to potentially life threatening levels. Kidney function may be irreversibly compromised in dogs exposed to ticks carrying Lyme disease. Ticks are all TRICK and no TREAT!

Protect your pets, use flea and tick prevention!

To ensure the best possible protection for your pet, always use your flea/tick prevention of choice year round. Longwood Veterinary Center recommends Simparica, a monthly oral chew, Seresto, a collar effective for 8 months, or the monthly topical liquid, K9 Advantix. We also strongly suggest the Lyme vaccine for ALL our canine patients. A yearly blood test to monitor for exposure to both heartworm and tick borne disease will be performed at your pet’s yearly health exam. Early detection will be our best chance to monitor any effects of exposure and treat, if needed.

We hope this tale of tick borne disease lurking in the dark shadows of our beautiful southeastern countryside does not haunt your dreams this evening. However, we have done our job well if this spooky story prevents you from being TRICKED into forgetting flea and tick prevention this month! A flea/tick infestation is no TREAT for anyone!

Happy Halloween from your Friends at Longwood Veterinary Center.

Written By: Dr. Corrina Parsons, DVM and Tara Corridori, LVT