A Cat Clinic

Ticks: The Ultimate Creepy-Crawlies!

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein

Tick prevention needs to be considered for all outdoor kitties. Most people are familiar with the importance of tick prevention in dogs, as well as that ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. Ticks are mostly a nuisance to cats, but they can transmit several serious feline diseases. Your kitty can also transport these 8 legged creatures into your home, where they can bite you or your children and cause an infestation.

There are four types of ticks that are native in Maryland. They are the Deer Tick (black-legged tick), American Dog Tick (wood tick), Brown Dog Tick, and Lone Start Tick. All ticks have a 4 stage life cycle that can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years to complete. During the different stages of their life cycle, ticks feed from different hosts. Their hosts range from mice and birds, to deer, and our furry companions. Some ticks stay active year round if the weather is warm (like our winter this year!) and others have the ability to thrive indoors.Use medication to prevent ticks

Ticks can carry many serious diseases that can affect cats, dogs, and humans. These include Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Cytauxzoonosis, and Anaplasmosis. The nature of these diseases is well understood in people and dogs, but in cats little is currently known. Clinical signs in the cat can be vague and include lethargy, fever, anorexia, weight loss, anemia (low red blood cells), lameness, and enlargement of certain organs like the lymph nodes, liver or spleen. Many cats die suddenly and without warning. Testing for these diseases in cats is not easy, as there are no good tests available and many give false results.

Luckily, it is easy to prevent ticks from hitching a ride on your kitty. At A Cat Clinic, we carry and recommend EasySpot. This product results in fast-acting control of fleas, ticks, and chewing lice for 30 days. We recommend EasySpot because it was developed just for kitties. It comes in an easy to use applicator, and it’s a small amount. It can also be used with our other product, Revolution, which is used for heartworm prevention. Please contact us for more information on EasySpot and for other tick prevention tips. Please note: NEVER use a dog specific tick prevention product on your kitty. Most of them are harmful if applied to cats.