Gear Up for Tick Season as Spring Approaches

Gear Up for Tick Season as Spring Approaches

Flea & Tick Prevention

As we eagerly await the arrival of spring, many of us have found ourselves repeatedly disappointed by weather swing patterns. However, rest assured that warmer days are on the horizon, and with them comes the need to prepare for tick season.

TicksWhile we may still be donning our winter coats, it’s never too early to start thinking about protecting our furry companions from the dangers of ticks and tick-borne diseases.

In Ontario, where tick exposure is a rising concern, efforts are being made to monitor and manage tick populations. The province has seen an increase in black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) activity, particularly in regions such as the eastern and northern parts (see Map below). The map provides us only with background information on estimated risk areas but it tells us a story that tick populations are changing rapidly, with ongoing expansion.

Ticks can transmit multiple infectious agents, leading to serious health issues in dogs. The challenge lies in detecting these infections early, especially since dogs may not always exhibit obvious symptoms. Therefore, annual screenings for tick-borne diseases are crucial for all dogs.

Recent studies conducted by IDEXX have shed light on the connection between tick-borne diseases and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in dogs. The research indicates that dogs exposed to Lyme disease have a 43% higher risk of developing kidney disease. Moreover, for dogs exposed to Ehrlichia in areas endemic to E. canis, this risk increases substantially to 112%. These findings highlight the importance of proactive measures in monitoring and managing tick-borne infections in dogs.

Why Should You Consult Your Veterinarian About Tick Screening?

Regular screening for tick-borne diseases is essential, even if your dog appears healthy. Annual screenings like the IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® Plus Test can help detect infections early and prevent potential complications. These comprehensive tests provide valuable insights into your pet’s health status and enable timely intervention when necessary.

Tick prevention and weather

Understanding when ticks are active is crucial for effective prevention. Blacklegged ticks, in particular, can be active any time temperatures are 4°C and above, including mild days during the winter months. Ticks can start looking for a host, whether it’s an animal or a person, to feed on for a blood meal when temperatures reach 4°C. Considering these temperature trends in Ontario during 2023-2024, we advise that tick preventive measures be administered all year round.

E3 FbAs pet parents, it’s crucial to stay informed and proactive when it comes to tick prevention. At Westway Animal Clinic, our team is dedicated to providing personalized care tailored to your pet’s individual needs. Our experienced veterinarians and staff work closely with you to develop effective preventive care strategies and screenings to keep your dog or cat safe from tick-borne diseases.

One highly effective strategy we recommend is administering preventative medication all year round. By giving your dog preventative medication every month for 12 months, you can ensure continuous protection against ticks and other parasites. This proactive approach helps safeguard your pet’s health and well-being, providing peace of mind for you as a pet parent.

At Westway Animal Clinic, we prioritize preventive care to keep your furry companion happy and healthy. Whether it’s discussing tick prevention strategies or scheduling regular screenings, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Together, we can ensure that your beloved pet receives the best possible protection against tick-borne diseases.

Stay informed, stay proactive, and partner with Westway Animal Clinic to give your pet the care they deserve.

Please schedule an appointment today to discuss tick prevention and screening options for your furry companion by calling at (416)243-3200 or email

Stay tuned for further updates on tick-related developments and remember to stay vigilant as we transition into the warmer months ahead.

Reference: Drake C, Coyne M, McCrann DJ, Buch J, Mack R. Risk of development of chronic kidney disease after exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. Top Companion Anim Med. 2021;42:100491. doi:10.1016/j.tcam.2020.100491

Disclaimer: Remember, the decision for what types of preventive care and screenings are best for your individual pet should always be made after a discussion between you and your veterinarian — your best partner in your pet’s health.

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