June 2012 Issue

Safeguard Your Pets Against Ticks

They’re dangerous and disgusting. Here’s what you can do to protect your cat — and how to recognize the warning signs.

Ticks are tenacious. They creep up tall grass, weeds and fences — waiting until a passing shadow, a vibration, an odor or even a whiff of exhaled carbon dioxide tells them a possible host might be passing by. Then they let go of their perch and fall, or reach out with their front legs to snag hold of a furry coat (or a pant leg). Once on board, they insert their mouths into their prey and begin their meal. During this feeding, tick saliva mixes with the host’s blood.

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