Springtime is Tick Time

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. With the Spring fully arrived, it’s time to be on guard for those ugly little critters called ticks.

Ticks are small insects that are related to spiders. They are most active from spring through fall here in Eastern Ontario, but can be a year round pest further south in places like Florida. Ticks can be found in forests, tall brush or grass. But they aren’t just in the country side, they live in big city parks & backyards too.

Ticks will jump on an animal as it’s walking by. Then they burrow in to feed on blood. In doing so, ticks can transmit deadly diseases & parasites. For example, Lyme disease is carried by ticks.

During these warm months, it’s a good idea to check your good dog regularly after time outside. Luckily, ticks are visible to the naked eye & will grow as they feed. If you do spot a tick, it is important to take care when removing it. Any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your good dog or even to you! Treat the area with rubbing alcohol & pluck the parasite with a tick remover (see below), making sure you’ve gotten the head. Never squeeze the tick or it will ‘barf’ into the wound. The ‘barf’ may have parasites or carry viruses.

The longer a tick feeds the more likely disease can be transmitted, it is wise for your good dog to be seen by a vet soon after any ticks are found. If possible, keep the tick in a jar of alcohol & bring it with you to your vet. It can then be tested for things like Lyme disease.

Although we don’t use them, there are medications you can give your good dog both to prevent & kill ticks. There are many pills, spray’s, & shampoos. While these medications are great, you still need to be very careful about which one you use. Make sure you read all labels carefully, & if you have any doubts, seek advice from your veterinarian before application.

My huMom always gives me a thorough check after our walks. She pays special attention to my ears, lips, nose, under my chin, the top of my legs & between my toes. These are places ticks like to hide.

As I mentioned above, there is also a tool called a “tick Twister” that is specifically designed for removing ticks. They can be purchased at a pet supply store or ask your vet. I sniffed out a video on how a Tick Twister works, it seems very easy.

Please stay home & stay safe. We’re in this together.

#plankthecurve

CEO Olivia

Seven Good Rules for the Summer Months

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia reporting. It’s been an unusually hot & humid summer here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. So today I thought I’d remind everyone some important hot weather rules for good dogs. They may seem obvious but every summer tragedy happens because a rule wasn’t followed.

  1. Never leave a dog in a car. It can become an oven in less than two minutes, even with a window cracked open. Leave your good dog at home.
  2. The sidewalk test. Put your hand or bare foot on the sidewalk before you head off on a walk. Count to 10. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog’s pads. Try to walk on grass or trails.
  3. Never leave a good dog outside for a prolonged period of time with out adequate shade & cool water. Best leave a good dog indoors on hot, humid days.
  4. Limit your good dogs water play time. That may sound wrong but dogs can suffer water intoxication ( it’s called hyponatremia) from ingesting too much water. Symptoms include loss of coordination. lethargy, bloat, vomiting, glazed eyes, excessive drooling, difficult breathing & in worst cases seizures or comma. It can be fatal.
  5. Check for ticks. They are even in larger city parks now. After a walk, check your good dog for unwelcome passengers. Look especially in the ears, under the throat & between the toes. Pet stores & vet’s have tick remover tools. Maybe have one in the house. Sniff out this video on how to use one. Never squeeze the tick, gently pull it out. You should consult your vet & test for Lyme disease if you do find a tick attached to your good dog.
  6. Allergies can be a problem in the summer months. Good dogs can have reactions just like you humans. There are allergy medications available but consult with your vet, it’s important to know what allergy medications are safe for your good dog. We have an earlier article on that subject. You can paw here to sniff it out.
  7. Keep an eye on your good dog on really hot days, especially if it’s a senior good dog or one who is on medication, like myself. They might not cope with the heat as well as other dogs.

There are many other things I’m sure I haven’t thought of, feel free to add to the list. Just remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog.

CEO Olivia

Spring Has Sprung

News

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. We are finally seeing the earth again here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. Spring is beginning & that means it’s time to share a few reminders of what comes with the warm weather.

Has your good dog been active over the winter, or was lounging by the wood stove more their thing? If it’s the latter, it will take a few days to get back into summer shape. So you might want to take play time a little easy at first. You’re walks & play time can get longer over time.

Once your out on the trails, you might discover things that have been buried in the snow that aren’t ideal to touch or eat. Garbage, rotting twigs or food wrappers should all be avoided. Puddles of melted snow should not be drank because they might have toxins like road salt, antifreeze or even parasites. Also, stay away from ponds or rivers. The ice may look solid but why chance it? The melt off can also cause flooding & fast moving waters.

Flowers will be blooming. Good dogs can get allergies from pollen just like you. A vet recommended, over the counter antihistamine or a natural antihistamine can bring relief if needed. Speaking of flowers, lilies, azaleas, sago palms & rhododendrons are toxic to good dogs. You might want to research what you’re planting to avoid growing something dangerous to your good dog.

Unfortunately Spring brings fleas & ticks. You should consult your vet about taking a flea & tick preventative. Even if you’re in a city, always check your good dog for ticks after a romp outside. If you find a tick it will be easier to remove if it hasn’t burrowed in yet. A plastic tick remover can remove a them, head & all. You can get one at a pet supply store or your vet.

Where I live there is a risk of Lyme Disease. You can check online if you live in a high risk area. If you do & find a tick, put it in a jar or pill bottle with alcohol & get it to your vet where they can test it. Also, if you’re not sure if you got the head out, you should see the vet to be sure because if left in the wound it might become infected. Never squeeze a tick, it will vomit into the wound & that’s not good either.

Finally, if you live rural like me, there are lots of critters waking up from the long winter. Skunks, ground hogs, porcupines or raccoons don’t make for good play dates. Always supervise your good dog & keep it on leash unless you’re at the dog park.

It’s been raining here & that melts away the snow, which reminds me, there are freshly uncovered stinks that need my analysis. Enjoy the warming days.

CEO Olivia