Summer is just around the corner. The weather is getting warm (YAY!), which means it’s also flea and tick season (BOO!) Unfortunately when it comes to tick bites and Lyme disease, scientists are expecting this summer to be particularly bad for humans and dogs. To help you prepare and have the best summer, we sat down with my vet, Dr. Courtney Leonard (aka lady-crush aka my #1 fan, aka my savior) to talk about what you should know about flea and tick prevention for dogs and Lyme disease.
Please note: Dr. Leonard recommends specific medication during her interview. It is important to talk to your vet before making any changes to your pup’s care and before you change or add any new medications to their routine!
Interview with Dr. Leonard!
Emoji: HI! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to answer these questions and help my friends stay healthy!
Dr. Leonard: Thanks, Emoji! Happy to help!
Emoji: Should pet owners only be worried about ticks in wooded areas? When should pet owners be worried about ticks?
Emoji: Do all ticks have Lyme disease? What should they look out for?
Emoji: What tips do you have to prevent ticks and Lyme disease?
Dr. Leonard: A good tick check after being outside is important, keeping the fur shorter in the summer is also helpful to be able to visualize them more easily.
Emoji: GAH! Lady found a tick! What should pet owners do if they find a tick?
Emoji: What (Lyme disease) symptoms should pet owners look out for?
Dr. Leonard: Tick-borne disease generally causes dogs to feel unwell. They can have shifting lamenesses, fevers, inappetence and other bloodwork abnormalities that can be concerning. Annual testing for tick-borne disease can be helpful to catch things before they become a problem.
Emoji: Wow! Thanks for the information Dr. Leonard! I’ll see you at my next check up!
Dr. Leonard: We’ll be sure to have the snackies ready for you!
About Dr. Courtney Leonard:
Dr. Leonard is my savor! She was the vet who handled my rescue intake after I made it to my foster home and has been my vet ever since! I love visiting Dr. Leonard at Center for Veterinary Care in NYC because she gives the best cuddles (don’t tell Lady).
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. She also holds a Master’s degree in Biology from Adelphi University where she did her research work on autoimmune glomerulonephritis. Dr.Leonard completed a year of clinical training at North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine cum laude. She then went on to complete an intensive small animal rotating internship in medicine and surgery at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City. She is a USDA accredited veterinarian and a member of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.
Helpful Information about Fleas, Tick, and Lyme Disease:
– CDC offers a detailed page about tick bites and tickborne illness for humans and a great Lyme Disease guide because your health is just as important… I mean… we can’t go on solo adventure trips! We need you!
– If you still have questions or want more information, check out PetMD’s Dog Ticks and Fleas FAQ section and don’t hesitate to call your vet! If they’re anything like Dr. Leonard and the CVC team, they will be more than happy to answer your questions.
– Center for Veterinary Care (CVC) offers a Pet Library with information from the latest articles and updates from the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). The Lyme Disease section includes additional information about the bacteria behind Lyme disease and the difference between human Lyme disease and canine Lyme disease.
– Interested in a natural way to repell ticks and fleas? Check out our Earth Day blog and find out how you can use essential oils to keep the ticks and fleas away! (We don’t recommend replacing your pet’s flea & tick prevention medication without talking to your vet!)
What do you think of our Vet Talks? What should our next Vet Talks blog focus on?
Email us or wrote your thoughts!