I volunteered to teach the tick prevention 101 course this semester at my local university because ticks are something I have a history with. Yes, I had a tick once and it was a horrible experience. So, I’m using my power as a teacher to inform others just how ticks – and protection methods – work, so no dog has to go through what I did.
Since I am a university professor, I obviously do not drive to work. I usually have Mum give me a ride to campus on her bike. It’s a 3 hour bike ride, but that doesn’t really bother me; I usually just take a nap or review my course material for that day.
My classes average between three to five hundred dog-owner students, all eager to hear me lecture them, which makes me realize Mum and Dad do not find nearly enough delight when I lecture them on various subjects at home.
So anyway, before we start today’s lecture, let’s go over a few rules of the classroom:
Any questions? No, good.
Let’s begin. And don’t forget to take notes, because there will be a test.
Today we’ll be taking a closer look at ticks, which can be very dangerous for both dogs and humans.
So, what is a tick?
Geez, third time this week… No wonder the doctor says I need to watch my stress levels.
Ticks can carry a whole host of dangerous diseases including Lyme Disease and a bunch of others I can’t pronounce.
The scary part is that tick-borne illnesses are on the rise, especially here in Canada since ticks are moving farther north with climate change and migrating animals.
And contrary to what many people believe, it’s not just in rural areas.
That’s right. Ticks and tick-borne illnesses can also be found in places like the following…
What I meant, was that tick-borne illnesses are popping up in urban areas, too.
So now let’s take a look at the two types of preventive medications, because there’s some key differences.
The first kind, systemic medications, are taken orally and work through the bloodstream, while non-systemic are applied topically and work on the skin.
Taken as a chewable treat, the systemic kind spreads the medication through the bloodstream, meaning a tick still MUST bite to be able to ingest enough blood for the medication to take effect. And if the tick is biting, there’s still the chance it could transmit disease.
Now let’s take a look at the other kind…
Oh no... that slide is from the presentation I’m giving later this evening to some top ranking government officials who want to hear my ideas on National Defense… So, let’s pretend you didn’t see that, ok?
So as I was saying…
Meanwhile, with non-systemic the medication is dispersed through the skin and and starts working through contact BEFORE ticks start biting.
So what is the takeaway?
That’s right; #NoBiteIsRight.
So, when I had my tick, I was on the first type here (systemic). I’m now on non-systemic prevention and so far so good. I’m not saying you should do EXACTLY as I do, since every dog is different, but now that you know the differences, you’re more informed for the next time you talk to your vet.
So, that concludes today’s class. Now if you don’t mind, I need to skedaddle because my ride home has been waiting for me outside for the past couple hours…