At the bend in the trail on my walk today, I ran smack into a mythic beast. My human, Pat, had given me a lot of slack in my lead, and the beast was as shocked as I was. It reared, casting a shadow over me. Hoofs lashed at the air. They landed with a thunderous thud on either side of my head. The sound of it reverberated in my chest wall.
When I got over my startle, I unleashed my fury.
The lead went taut in a quick snap, as Pat pulled me back. I reared on my hind legs and pawed the air against the tension of the lead—I was giving the son of a gun a taste of his own medicine.
Pat screamed his head off.
He made me proud at first but then I realized he wasn’t helping me fight the mythic beast.
HEY, WHAT THE HECK DID I DO?
Pat snatched for my collar. As he did it, I felt the lead go slack and he missed the grab.
I was out of there like a shot, off-trail, through the long, dry grasses of late summer.
I didn’t look back as Pat chased me down.
Later, Pat checked me for ticks back at the car, discovering two ticks on my neck and an itty bitty one burrowing in between my paws, but I didn’t care.
Score: Mythic Beast, 0. Wily Wags, 1.
This tick season stinks and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tick-borne diseases are increasing. In early fall, those suckers are among the most active, so get prepared waggers. Stay out of the bush as much as you can. Wild places are where they are most likely to hide. Lyme’s disease cases over the last two decades have tripled, so protect your humans and yourself.
News flash! Waggers get Lyme’s disease, too. You think you’ve been sick as a dog before? Just wait until you encounter tick-born nastiness, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Canine Ehrliciosis, and Canine Anaplasmosis to name just a few. It is serious, waggers! The suckers are disgusting.
Here’s advice on how to prevent ticks and the nasty diseases they spread:
- If a wagger gets a tick, your human needs to remove it (or have it removed) immediately and consult the vet about whether they recommend antibiotics and a probiotic. Here’s info on safe tick removal from VetVid:
- Regular flea and tick preventive treatment for waggers is important. Consistency is the name of the game; have your human talk to the vet if they are concerned about the chemicals.
- Regular tick checks, especially if you’ve been marauding in the wilder spots we all love. Some ticks are barely visible at all, others are the size of a kibble, so hopefully your human has a sharp eye and is on it.
- When out on hikes keep to the trail and stay away from grassy, shrubby places, no matter how tempting it is to chase that scurrying piece of mouse flesh that ran into that hole.
- Ticks like to hide in wild yards, they are among the leaves, on the ground, and in unkempt plants. They are even in the lawn so hopefully your human is keeping the yard work up!
- Waggers need to get screened for tick disease as a regular part of veterinary wellness exams.
If your humans protect their waggers from ticks and tick born diseases, they will be protecting themselves, too.