The Importance of Tick Prevention for Dogs and Cats in Oakland, CA

Ticks have always been a threat to dogs, cats, and humans. Unfortunately, their numbers seem to be increasing and their territory is expanding. In 2016, Scientific American published the findings of a study carried out by the CDC, which revealed that ticks capable of spreading Lyme disease are present in roughly HALF of all U.S. counties. What’s more, reported cases of Lyme disease in humans have tripled since the late 90s. Here in California, there are 4 tick species capable of transmitting disease to humans and pets:

  • Western black-legged tick - Lyme disease, anaplasmosis
  • Brown dog tick - Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • American dog tick - Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia
  • Rocky Mountain wood tick - Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, and tularemia

How to Protect Dogs and Cats from Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks aren’t going away anytime soon, so expect them to be a continuous health risk for your dog or cat. To minimize the risk of tick infestations and tick-borne diseases, we recommend these actions:

  • Treating your dog or cat with the appropriate flea and tick preventatives as directed all year round
  • Keeping your property cleared of brush, leaf litter, overgrown shrubs and weeds, and fallen branches/woodpiles
  • Walking your dog on cleared pathways and avoiding tall grasses and heavily wooded areas
  • Checking yourself and your pet for ticks before entering the house
  • Vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease if you believe they are at risk
sign warning about ticks in grass

Cat and Dog Tick Prevention

Year-round tick protection is essential to your pet’s health and safety. Most preventatives available must be given once a month with the exception of Bravecto for dogs, a chewable tablet which can be given every 3 months. Other popular tick prevention products include Frontline Plus and Revolution Plus, but of which are topical (placed on the skin). To find out more about tick prevention products and which one might be best for your dog or cat, call
us at (510) 339-2041.

two dalmatian dogs outside

How to Remove Ticks from Dogs and Cats

Tick removal can be tricky. Not only do you have to deal with a potentially wiggly pet, but the tick itself has embedded its head and mouth parts under your pet’s skin, making them difficult to extract. Here is the tried-and-true method for successful tick removal:

  • Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers
  • Place tweezers as close to your pet’s skin as possible and around the body of the tick
  • Grip the tick very gently and just as gently pull the tick straight out
  • Make sure tick is fully intact and its head and mouth parts have been removed
  • Clean the bite wound with warm soapy water or isopropyl alcohol
  • Place tick in a plastic baggie and call us at (510) 339-2041 for guidance on what to do next