Am I worrying too much about ticks?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by chaospony, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. chaospony

    chaospony New Member

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    I am so paranoid this year about ticks! My girls got the Lyme vaccine and they are on preventatives but my vet said he has seen quite a few ticks this year that just aren't deterred by the preventives. Ticks are supposedly really bad around this part of Ontario right now and some people have contracted Lyme disease in the area.
    I find myself really limiting the places I take my dogs and I hate it. There is so much great stuff to do and great places to go outside of town, but in the end I keep making the descion to be better safe than sorry so we don't go hiking or to the heavily wooded dog parks.
    I have two weeks off work starting next week and I would love to take the girls to some super fun places and maybe even camping for a few days but those ticks and their nasty diseases are really putting a damper on things.
    Is anyone else super cautious or am I just being overly so?
     
  2. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I'm completely the opposite. I also have dogs who don't tend to pick up ticks.

    Neither are vaccinated or on preventatives. I run them both in the woods and meadows daily. They are short coated, and I check them carefully every night. Meg has had 2 ticks ever. Gusto 1. All three were dog ticks, not deer.

    I've had to battle Lyme's twice with my horse, but neither dog has ever gotten it. I don't know, I'd rather be able to enjoy my dogs and have them enjoy life, then to live in fear.
     
  3. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Just to put things in perspective for you a bit, dogs are very different than people when it comes to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Only something like 5% of dogs who are exposed to Lyme disease will get sick from it, and it doesn't generally tend to cause the same kind of chronic problems in dogs as it does in humans - so some tiny fraction of that 5% will ever have serious complications.

    I don't LIKE ticks, so I use a spot-on and Bug Off garlic. But I don't do the vaccine and I don't really worry about it, I just keep my eye out for any symptoms.
     
  4. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Same here. We don't do them daily, but do go on a fair amount of wooded hikes. I think I've found 3 ticks in 6 years on Caleb (walking, not attached).
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    dogs have been surviving with nasty little ticks around for thousands of years. I think most of them tend to be just fine. Sure it's no fun when something bad happens, but what fun is not living life because of fear of something not at all likely to occur?
     
  6. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    We live in tick heaven. Today I pulled 4 off of Bates, one hugely engorged on off of Breez, another engorged one fell off Lunar as I was petting him, and 2 off Biko. I also pulled one off the back of my daughter’s knee. This summer I’ve pulled probably 5 or 6 off myself - those are the attached ones. I’m not even counting the ones you just flick off.

    Nobody is vaccinated - not humans or dogs. Frontline & advantix don’t do jack squat for ticks, so we don’t use them either. All I do is dose the dogs with MSM daily, to keep their immune system strong, tick checks daily, but otherwise we just live with the ticks. Some years they’re bad, some years they’re awful. This has been an awful year...
     
  7. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    A few summers ago, I went out with Romeo, Skye, and Zoie to a park. It was a little mucky, and the dogs were going into the brush to sniff here and there. Skye was on a long lead, and I thought she was kicking up little mud droplets onto herself..until I started feeling things moving and dropping on ME. I looked closer and all the 'mud droplets'...were ticks! There were hundreds in probably a 15 minute span of walking. They were falling from the trees onto us too. It was so terrible, I was in tears trying to get them off by the car. Zoie ended up with lyme shortly after that, of course it is very hard to see them on her.

    So I really don't go into the woods too much anymore..I stick to more open and mowed parks.
     
  8. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    ^^ I have to agree with you!!!

    It simply is not worth it, to me, to just run around in tick territory. I still have lots of fun with my dogs... they DGAF if I take them running in a mowed, grassy field or in a wet, overgrown field. Both are tons of fun to them. Look into dog sports, disc dog, tricks and other fun activities that don't risk you or your dogs getting infested with ticks. I know the camping areas that are completely tick-free, and also those that are swarming with them. I try to stay in really cold, cleared out areas for camping (up in tahoe usually), and stay away from wet, humid camping areas (the coast has ticks galore). I am afraid of diseases, but mostly I just have a serious tick phobia... taking them off dogs at work makes me cry. I'm a groomer. I can't believe some of these people, who act like their dogs are worth $10,000 and are little princesses. Meanwhile, they have a dozen engorged ticks all over them. Ew.
     
  9. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Keep it indoors though if you are worried about ticks. Several agility trials I go to have buckets of soapy water next to the in gates for depositing ticks you find on your dog as you are waiting.
     
  10. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Oh yuck... you must really be in tick country! :eek:

    All of the agility practice/trials I've been to have either been indoors or in a very cleared out, tick-free area.
     
  11. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Ticks are awful around here, as is Lyme (and anaplasmosis). I still hike. I check myself (pulled five attached ticks off me after a hike a couple months ago... ugh) and my dog, but I back it up with pesticides.

    Frontline does work, but you have to be realistic in your expectations- it does not repel ticks, you will still find attached ticks, it takes 24-48 hours to kill ticks. I've recently switched to Certifect, which is Frontline Plus with low-dose amitraz. Starts detaching ticks at four hours and kill time starts at six.

    Dogs do typically deal with Lyme better than humans, but it can still be fatal.
     
  12. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I trial a lot in Massachusetts. That seems to be the worst of it. I'm in the north-east, everything is wooded.
     
  13. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    This kind of makes me cringe mentioning it, but in FL we started getting brown dog ticks in the house. Now they usually don't carry anything nasty, but the dogs were getting them in their feet and stuff and bringing them in. Casey was usually the worst, and she slept in the bathroom. We noticed these little black speck bugs kept appearing where the wall meets the ceiling in the bathroom...and then we started seeing regular sized ticks going up the walls in the house (or on us, or the dogs). We frontlined, sprayed the yard...it just kept getting worse. I had a pillow top mattress..umm..we found in the crease of the pillow top many many full grown ticks. Had to get a pest control company out, take the dogs to the groomers for a full treatment before they came back, all kinds of stuff.

    It makes you think you have a dirty house, really, when that happens. But I was watching some infestation show a few months ago and someone had the same problem with the brown dog ticks that they couldn't resolve..thankful we got rid of them with the pest control company!

    So I do have good reason to be wary of them..
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I can't really worry about it; otherwise we would never do anything. Ticks are always bad around here. I've actually only pulled 3 off him this summer so far, which is pretty amazing. I do keep him on Advantix every other month or so, sometimes I spread it out more depending if I've seen a lot, etc. Frontline doesn't do jack crap here. But we live in the "country" so it's just something we deal with. I feel him over every night and he gets bathed once a week in the summer.

    He tested positive for lymes once... he came up limping so was showing stiffness of the joints as a symptom. He was treated with 30 days of antibiotics or whatever they were, and now he's fine and tests negative. But lymes test are so faulty anyways. One can come up positive yet they don't really have lymes and vice versa.
     
  15. chaospony

    chaospony New Member

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    OMG crazedACD! I would have the heebie jeebies for ever after that!

    I think for me the problem is if something serious were to happen, something that I could have prevented, I would never forgive myself. Doesn't help that lots of Afghan people, who have never had their hounds get a single tick in the 20+ years they have had Af's are suddenly reporting finding ticks on them, not to mention one of those people just lost her Brittany spaniel to Lyme last week.

    I really shouldn't complain because we have the lake to swim in but it is very busy. We also have a big mowed dog park to run in, but I would love to take them to the other dog parks with trails and what not.
    I love the idea of agility and I know my one girl would love it, but finding a place that isn't a fair drive is difficult, and right now, anything that involves a car ride is not going to get her excited!
     
  16. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    My uncle lost his Malamute/wolf cross to Lyme early last year (but they are in Massachusetts and he was an outside 'dog').

    All three of our dogs have had it and come up weakly positive on the tests. I have had Lyme and so has my father (but not my mother or sister...I suspect because they spend less time in the woods/fields). Nobody has lasting symptoms, really, as we are hyper aware of it and know that it is common around here.

    To be honest, I don't really censor where the dogs walk/run/play. I make sure to check them over as well as I can and everybody is vacc'd (except Liberty who is allergic). But to be fair--here--you can't avoid ticks completely even if you try. I don't know if my approach would be different if I knew that they were a close-to-fail-safe way to keep the boys from contracting Lyme again.

    ETA: Our guys all three turned up dramatically lame after contracting Lyme, with Liberty being affected most severely. Bailey was shaky in the rear but mostly just acting out (aggressive, etc). All three responded well to Doxycycline (IIRC).
     
  17. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I am very worried about it but he is not vaccinated and we don't use a preventative. I worry about the ticks, I worry about what protects him from ticks. I worry about the effectiveness of the vaccine and it's safety and worry if he gets that he'll just get some other disease. But I worry about the preventatives too, we gave him advantage to get rid of fleas once and he was lethargic for a week, went off of his food completely for three days. My uncle's dog acts fearful for several days after receiving it, holding her head low, acting as though her skin feels funny. My mom knows someone at work who accidentally hugged her dog shortly after applying one of the preventatives. She washed it off of her but shortly after he skin began to react and she ended up with chemical burns on her face. So those worry me too. So I hate ticks because I can't decide what is best to do about them. Last year he got two ticks, one dog tick attached, one deer tick not yet attached. This year I have also found two ticks, both attached. One a deer tick which chose to attach itself on the eyeliner around his eye (he loved me trying to take that off...but on the bright side it was easy to find), the other I have no idea what kind it was because it was engorged and I base my ID on size since I don't know how to ID them properly, this one was between his back toes. I was really freaked out since it was the first engorged tick I've ever found on him and an engorged tick means it could have been on long enough for diseases to be transferred. Maybe we should try a preventative again, advantix is supposed to be best and I don't want that on him around the cats so I guess it would have to be frontline. I just don't like the idea of it, putting poison on my dog.

    But I guess since I live somewhere that ticks are supposed to be a big deal we've been lucky thus far.

    You say many dogs don't show any symptoms of Lymes, but does that mean it will never affect them? It's a chronic disease, so couldn't it cause problems later, years down the road?
     
  18. MinPinOwner

    MinPinOwner Member

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    I would watch out for the ticks. I check myself and the dogs for ticks after hiking. I take a shower so I can check myself as well. My dog has Lyme disease and we caught it early. He's on antibiotics. I know a person who has it too and it's not good. Half of all deer ticks in the area carry Lyme Disease.
     
  19. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Yea there's pretty much no avoiding ticks in my state. Certain times of year there are fewer than others, but... I'm not going to never do anything outside. Having said that, last spring the ticks were so bad they did drive me to go home early from one camping trip.

    Not generally in dogs. Honestly I don't even really think about it at all.
     
  20. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Last year was TERRIBLE. Megan and I took the dogs hiking in wisconsin last year and I had Frodo on my lap for the like drive back to her house. It was getting dark and I glanced something moving on frodo's back. Then I saw MANY things moving on his back, they were just everywhere and I am scared to death of ticks. Worst. Moments. Ever.
     

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