Why you should be ticked about ticks

Ktanaw Hirsch
Pacific Veterinary Services Pohnpei
Our dogs enjoy the beauty of our island as we do, from the ancestral ruins of Nan Madol to the roads & yards of Kolonia. But hiding in the grasses and plants that make our island flourish, is a dangerous parasite that is waiting to hop onto your pet. We’re talking about ticks.
Ticks are small, blood sucking insects that feed off cats, cattle, pigs, and most other mammals, but dogs are one of their favorite targets. Ticks are known as external parasites because they live outside or on the body.
There are many different types of ticks. A full grown and fed tick can be as small as a pin head or as large as a raisin. Because of their small size, ticks can easily hide in hard to find places, like between your dog’s toes or inside their ears.
When ticks bite and attach to the skin, they inject a parasite into your dog’s blood. The parasite can cause seizures, belly pain, breathing problems, urinating blood, nose bleeds and other bleeding problems that frequently lead to death. In fact, tick disease can be responsible for almost any symptoms a sick dog exhibits. Tick disease can even be spread to the fetus of a pregnant pet.
Bathing your pet with flea & tick shampoo will only kill about 5% of ticks and has no lasting effect. This is because 95% of ticks live in Mother Nature (hiding in tall grass, crawling in debris) and can attach themselves to your pet the second they are back outside.
For longer lasting tick prevention, Pacific Islands Veterinary Services (PIVS) recommends products such as Soresto (8 month flea & tick collar) or Preventic (3 month tick collar), Bravecto (1 pill every 3rd month), or Revolution (monthly topical squirt), all of which can be found at your local veterinarian or online. For prevention against ticks as well as fleas, lice, mites, mange, heartworm, roundworms, hookworms and ear mites, Ivermectin and Grenadine (known as “Red Medicine”) can be given 3 times a week. The reason all these products work so well, is that they kill ticks before they can lay any more eggs, and before they can pass on disease.