After my hunt with Peat last weekend, in fairly deep snow, I was surprised to find a tiny tick on him. A month or so ago, after a short walk near the Boise River, I noticed at least a half-dozen tiny ticks inside one of his ears.
We’ve never found ticks, until now, on the dogs after July 1st. I’m certainly no scientist, but I have to think that warmer temperatures are involved. Why would this matter to a chukar hunter?
Maybe it doesn’t, but because of the diseases they carry I worry about ticks on my dogs. Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and several other threats to dogs’ health. Even though the chances are low that ticks will carry one of those diseases, it’s a numbers game. After a short hike one spring, we once pulled more than 70 ticks off of Angus. And now that we’re starting to see ticks more or less year-round, the numbers are less in our favor.
What can be done? I don’t know, other than putting Frontline or Advantix or another (expensive) tick preventative product on the dogs all year long.
I’m wondering if anyone else out there is finding ticks at this time of year on their dogs.
Here are some links to information on ticks in case you’re interested:
- Tick Biology: very readable life cycle information from UC Davis Entomology Department
- Lyme Disease & Climate Change: regardless of whether you think climate change is a hoax propagated by the Chinese, the numbers in this report by the EPA are alarming.
- Tick Population & Range Expansion: news article on increasing tick population and range.
- Tick Encounter Resource Center: Fascinating and very helpful resource from the University of Rhode Island.