Tick time!

Finally the weather has warmed up and we are all spending some much needed time outside. Our parasite ‘friends’ are also thrilled that we are out hiking with our dogs and riding our horses.

The most common tick in Montana is the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick. (See pictures)

Even at our high elevation in Red Lodge, we begin to see ticks in mid-March or even earlier depending on weather. Ticks do not jump or fly (luckily), instead they lie in wait on vegetation and climb on to your pet or horse as they pass by and attach to the body.

It is important to check your horse routinely and your pet thoroughly after being outside. Pay close attention to the under belly, under the neck area, behind (and inside) ears and the head. Ticks can even be found inside you pets mouth attached to the gums!

There are several diseases that can be transferred to both humans and pets from our local ticks, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Black Legged Tick which carries Lyme’s Disease is not known to be found in Montana.

Even without disease transmission a large infestation of ticks can cause lethargy, anemia and other health concerns.

Removing ticks:

– Use tweezers and grasp the mouth parts as close to the skin as possible, pull directly away from your pet or horse.

– Do not twist as you pull as you may break off the mouth parts under the skin and this can lead to irritation and infection at the bite site.

– Do not crush the ticks while they are attached to prevent disease transmission.

– Place them in rubbing alcohol to kill before disposal, or burn them.

– Wash your hands thoroughly after handling ticks.

We have multiple options for preventing ticks and other external parasites on your horses and livestock – each product last approximately 2 weeks per treatment:

– Equi-Spot – Topical oil based drop that is applied to the body
– Topical Dusting Powder for Ticks and Lice – Applied to the mane and tail head
– Pour on – Clean Up II – Applied to the base of the mane and tail head
– Topical Fly Spray – Endure

Here is a good article about tick control in horses:

AAEP – Tick Control in Horses

For pets we carry the following products:

Effitix Plus or Effipro Plus – Topical drop applied once per month
Credelio (dogs only) – Oral tablet given once per month
Bravecto (dogs only) – Oral tablet given every 3 months

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
Itchy Horse

Call us today for more information! 406-446-2815

COVID-19 Protocol Update

First, we would like to thank our clients for being flexible and understanding over the last 6 weeks. Since March 23rd we have been operating with a curbside only service approach.

Starting today, May 6th, we will be giving clients the option of accompanying their pet/horse inside the clinic/equine exam room for their exam and treatments. 

That being said, we are still reducing the amount of traffic into the building to one client / patient at a time. Please see our new protocol below:

WHAT TO EXPECT – Large and Small Animal appointments:

Small animal clients, please park beside the clinic closest to the front of the building.

Equine and large animal clients, please drive around the cul-de-sac at the end of the road and park your trailer in the gravel parking lot.

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here.

We will ask if you would like to come in for your appointment, wait in the vehicle, or drop off your pet and come back at a later time.

As before, if you would prefer to wait outside or drop off, Dr. Gruber will discuss exam findings either in person (outside) or by phone. We will then proceed with treatments as decided by you and Dr. Gruber. 

If you accompany your pet into the exam room, we will have our technicians and Dr. Gruber handle your pet, to reduce close contact with multiple clients. We will maintain a 6ft distance from you as best as we can. We will continue cleaning high traffic areas, door handles, counter tops, merchant machines etc. between each client to help reduce transmission. 


When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here. We will let you know if you can come in and get them (if the reception area is clear of other clients / patients). If not, we will bring them to your vehicle as before.

We can take payment over the phone and are still accepting credit cards, cash or checks.

We appreciate your cooperation as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID19 and other illnesses. Please call the clinic if you have any questions or concerns 406-446-2815. We look forward to getting back to ‘normal’ and ‘Together, We Can Do This!”