Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

This issue of our electronic newsletter is devoted to the seasonal issue of tick-borne diseases and the increasing incidence and concern in the Ottawa area.

The 3 tick borne diseases of concern in Ontario and Quebec are spread by the deer tick (Ixodes Scapularis) and infect dogs. The 3 diseases are Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, & Anaplasmosis.

Dog-Cat-Rabbit-Pocket Pet Owners

While the deer tick is of specific concern to dogs, and our recommendation regarding protection is specific to dogs, we are including our non-canine clients in the distribution of this email such that everyone is fully informed.

Cats are rarely affected by the 3 diseases spread by the deer tick. Furthermore, there are no vaccines or topical products suitable for use with cats to protect against these diseases.

Dogs are the principle at-risk species.

Protecting Your Dog

Vaccination: We recommend vaccination against Lyme disease (1 of the 3 diseases). Many of our canine patients already receive this vaccine on an annual basis at the time of their annual check-up. If your dog has not been vaccinated against Lyme disease, you need not wait until your pet’s annual check-up to provide this protection.

Annual Screening: We recommend annual testing for Heartworm disease. The heartworm test used at our Hospital also screens for Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, & Anaplasmosis, thereby allowing for early diagnosis and any warranted treatment against these tick-borne diseases.

Additional Protection For 2010

If your dog is at higher risk of being bitten by a tick, we are now recommending the once-monthly application of a topical* tick
prevention product called K9 Advantix.
(product available at Carling Animal Hospital)

This product should be applied during the April to November period, in addition to the once-monthly oral (i.e. Sentinel) or topical (i.e. Revolution) product you currently use to protect against Heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, & fleas.

Higher Risk: Your dog would be considered higher risk if he/she has had a tick(s) in the past, or your lifestyle includes camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities in fields, forests, tall-grassed areas, or similar where ticks are more likely to exist.  

* (Topical Application: part the hair on the dog's back, between the shoulder blades, until the skin is visible. Place the tip of the tube on the skin and squeeze the tube twice to expel the entire contents directly to the skin)
Toxic (Fatal) To Cats

The active ingredient in K9 Advantix is highly toxic and fatal to cats if ingested. We can not understate this.

The manufacturer recommends that cats be isolated from dogs (and their bedding) for a minimum of 12 hours after treating the dog. However, if a cat is prone to grooming or licking the treated dog, we believe a longer isolation period is prudent.

Our opinion is that you may not wish to use K9 Advantix in a household comprised of both cats and dogs.

Currently, there is no tick preventative product available for use with cats.

Further Information

Manufacturer’s Website:


Should you require further clarification, please contact our Hospital and we will be pleased to help.

The Doctors & Staff of Carling Animal Hospital