In the past 10 years we have seen a significant increase in the number of ticks we see in the Niagara Region. Our veterinary clinic routinely sees patients from the municipalities of Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet, Fenwick, Fort Erie and Fonthill and they have all reported seeing ticks on their pets.
Our animal hospital in Welland typically starts to see dogs and cats with ticks attached on them starting in late April through to November. Our staff has found highest rates of ticks occur in spring (April-May) and fall (October-November) with scattered reports through the summer.
Ticks will feed on pets and people by crawling on the skin and then attaching to the body with their mouth-piece to feed on a blood meal. Initially all ticks are very small and hard to spot on the skin, once they attach and feed they become engorged with a blood meal and become much more obvious.
Adult ticks will typically feed for 3-5 days before they fall off their host (e.g. dog, human)and into the environment. From here they will lay eggs and start the life cycle all over again.
Ticks will attach to dogs, cats and humans, but we rarely see ticks on cats. Dogs seem to be the most susceptible, especially those that run through wooded areas or overgrown fields.
If you see ticks on your pet this spring don’t hesitate to contact us at the Main West Animal Hospital in Welland. Our veterinary staff would be happy to show you how to safely remove ticks from your dog or cat and discuss products that can help prevent these critters from attaching again.