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