November 8, 2010

Tick Patrol For Friesians

Ticks are dreaded creatures that can cause very serious illnesses, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis.  These tiny parasitic horrors are members of the arachnid family, along with spiders, scorpions, and mites.  There are many kinds of ticks, but they all operate in the same way.  Ticks patiently wait for their victims on the tips of grasses and shrubs.  When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host.  They crawl to a favorable place on the body and latch on with a powerful mouth to begin sucking blood.  They feed slowly and may go unnoticed for several days.  It’s important to check your body after spending time outdoors and you should also check your children and your pets after an outside romp.  Betsy, my stable manager, inspects my four Friesians every day for ticks.  Finding them and removing ticks promptly lessens the chance of being infected by the tick pathogen, as most tick-transmitted diseases are transferred to the host after the tick has been feeding for some time.

Update:  The blood test results are back and all my Friesians appear normal, thank goodness!