The Edmond Sun

Features

September 3, 2013

VET Q&A: Tick prevention a must this summer

EDMOND — Q: I have put several topicals on my dog Sam this year and we are still seeing ticks and an occasional flea. We take him walking occasionally around the neighborhood and want him to be safe from bad hitchhikers — especially ticks. Our neighbor’s dog died with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. What should I watch for in Sam?

A:
You are correct in wanting to keep all ticks off Sam. Topicals must be applied at least two days after a bath since they depend on the oils in the skin to distribute over the pet’s body.  He should not go swimming or be bathed for another two or three days after the application of the flea and tick topical.

If you purchased the topical from your veterinarian most of the time there is a guarantee by the manufacturer against failure. You should at least report it to your veterinarian. There are many over-the-counter want-to-be’s that just do not work as well as the original product they are meant to copy. The active ingredient indeed did go off patent protection, but this is only half of the effectiveness of the product.

The carrier is the real key in the effectiveness of the product. A “carrier” is what is responsible for the product moving over the surface of the animal and becoming integrated with oil from the skin and oil glands so that it is stored and remains associated for long-term effectiveness, usually four weeks or so.  Without this carrier, the product just sits there where it was placed and is not very functional. You might want to discuss the mechanism of action with your veterinarian for your particular product and take advantage of any guarantees available.

Perhaps you might want to also discuss the use of a flea and tick collar for protecting your Sam. There is a new collar that lasts for six months that is working well on pets in our area. If Sam likes to swim or play in the rain or other water, you might want to look at the newest eight-month collar. Visit with your veterinarian about the best application for your particular setting and for Sam. The eight-month collar is more “water-resistant” and can tolerate exposure to water. Again, over-the-counter collars cannot compete at this level of effectiveness. Your veterinarian can evaluate each one specific to Sam.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a serious short-term disease. It has been referred to as the great impersonator since it can mimic a variety of diseases from arthritis to meningitis.

The clinical signs only last from a week to 10 or so days and may go unnoticed until it is too late. It is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii carried by ticks.

It is generally true that the tick has to be attached for somewhere between four and 24 hours to transmit the disease. Clinical signs vary from a fever a few days after exposure to a loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, neurologic signs, pain in the abdomen or joints, nasal discharge, red eyes, a cough or muscle pain. Should Sam display one or more of these signs after a known tick exposure, you should take him to your veterinarian for a checkup. Knowing you have infected ticks in your area from the history of your neighbor’s dog makes this even more urgent. The American dog tick the Brown Dog Tick and the Lone Star Tick are all known to carry the bacterium and all can be found in our area.

It is essential to have an accurate and quick diagnosis so that the appropriate antibiotic can be started early on. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever certainly can be fatal as you mentioned from your neighbor’s dog.

As always, prevention is key. Check you, your family and Sam for ticks daily. Consult with your family veterinarian if Sam shows any signs of the disease and your veterinarian can do testing to confirm or deny an infection. If positive, the proper antibiotic will be used and Sam can stay with you for a good long, happy time.                                     

   

DR. M. MARGARET KING, a longtime Edmond veterinarian, is a guest columnist. If you have any questions for her, email them to mkekdoc@sbcglobal.net.

         


 

1
Text Only
Features
  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 23, 2014

  • clock edit.jpg Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library

    In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
    Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 22, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 22, 2014

  • 6th annual run event in Guthrie to benefit Free to Live

    The sixth annual “The See Spot Run” will take place at 9 a.m. May 10 in downtown Guthrie. This 5K, 10K and 1-mile run/walk event benefits Free to Live, a nonprofit animal sanctuary located Logan County. In the past five years of this event “The See Spot Run” has welcomed more than 3,000 runners and raised $30,000 for the Free to Live Animal Sanctuary.
    “The See Spot Run” will offer all participants the opportunity to compete in either the 5K or 10K event in addition to a 1-mile “Fun Run.” Walkers and runners (both two- and four-legged) are welcome and can register directly at www.theseespotrun.com. Visit www.freetoliveok.com. Donations also can be sent to “The See Spot Run,” P.O. Box 292, Guthrie, 73044.
     

    April 21, 2014

  • Touch-A-Truck event draws families to UCO

    Edmond Electric and Edmond Vehicle Maintenance are co-hosting the Edmond Touch-A-Truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 in the UCO parking lot off Second Street. Touch-A-Truck is a fundraising event that provides children of all ages with the opportunity to experience life-size vehicles and interact with community support leaders like police officers, firemen, construction workers and many more. Families will have the opportunity for a hands-on exploration of many vehicles such as Edmond’s own fire trucks and police cars, an Edmond Electric bucket truck and even a solid waste truck.
    Admission for the Touch-A-Truck event is a suggested $2 donation with the proceeds going to the Edmond HOPE Center. For more information, contact Edmond Electric at 216-7671 or email michelle.gumaer@edmondok.com.

    April 21, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 20, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo