Ticks are small but can be deadly to your furry companion. And due to climate change, the summer of 2023 might be the worst tick season to date.
What does this mean for shelter dogs?
“This year, dogs in the care of HSLM have been infected with both heartworm and Lyme diseases. Heartworm is spread from dog to dog through mosquito bites and Lyme disease is spread when a lyme-carrying tick bites you or your dog,” stated Matt Truesdale, registered veterinary technician. Ticks can also transmit ehrlichiosis and anaplasma infections, two other potentially deadly diseases carried in ticks that can lead to lameness, spontaneous bleeding, anorexia, lethargy, depression, neurological signs, and eye pain.
To help combat the increasing tick population and associated health risks, HSLM has added 4DX testing into our routine care. This blood test identifies the above diseases, and allows us to treat the dog in a timely manner.
It is important to note that when testing positive not only does this increase the animals’ wait time in the shelter, as treatment can take up to six months, but it also limits our capacity to help other dogs in the London area who are waiting to come into our care. You can help by choosing to become a foster volunteer.
If you are a pet parent yourself, remember to keep an eye out for these sneaky critters. Make sure your pet has all the proper vaccinations and is up to date on their tick and flea prevention medications. It’s also a good idea to ask your veterinarian if 4DX testing is a good idea for your own pet. You never know, it might just save your dog’s life.