Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Down and Dirty of Ticks

Ticks! Yuck! No one wants to think about ticks, or any other parasite for that matter, but what you don’t know can make you and your kitty sick.

Ticks weren’t as prevalent in Michigan as in other states, but over the past five years, ticks have boomed in our area. Ticks can spread a variety of very nasty, life-threatening conditions to both you and your companion animal. Some commons diseases that are spread through tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Hemobartonellosis, Lyme Disease in both pets and people.

The most common tick found around these parts is the American Dog Tick.This tick loves people, cats, dogs, deer, mice…pretty much any mammal it can attach to. This species is known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. This tick is most active during spring and summer.

American Dog Tick

The Black-legged Tick a.k.a. the Deer tick , wasn’t previously located in Michigan but has made its way here. This tick is the vector for Lyme disease, which is a very serious disease in both pets and people. This tick loves small mammals, deer, dogs, cats and people. The black-legged tick is¬†generally at its highest numbers during spring, summer and fall, but adults are looking for a viable host at any temperature above freezing.

Black Legged Tick

The Lone Star Tick can also be found in Michigan. It’s such named due the distinctive “star” mark on the female’s back. This tick is extremely aggressive, and readily goes after humans, in fact, humans are this ticks favorite meal. It causes ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and STARI.

Lone Star Tick

The Woodchuck Tick is pretty common in Michigan. This tick favors humans, companion animals and small mammals. This tick primarily transmits the Powassan virus. This tick is commonly mistaken for the deer tick, so it should be identified using a microscopic.

Woodchuck tick

The Brown Dog Tick is also referred to as the Kennel Tick, because of it’s ability to survive, breed and thrive strictly indoors. This tick is the only tick that is found in every single region of the United States. It’s favorite meal is the dog, but attaches to cats and humans given the opportunity. It spreads Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in humans and canine babesiosis and canine ehrlichiosis.

Brown Dog Tick

What should you do if see a tick on yourself or your cat? This is a great step-by-step guide to removing ticks from yourself; the ASPCA has a nice how-to for removing ticks from your cat or dog.

How can you protect your cat from ticks? The best option is preventative. We recommend Bayer’s Seresto Collar for protecting your cat, and in turn, you from ticks. Visit the Cornell Feline Health Center for more information on ticks and how the diseases they may transmit to your cat.