Grassy areas are havens for ticks. Ticks climb to the tip of grasses, waiting for a host to walk by that they can attach to and begin taking a blood meal. Different regions have different species of ticks that commonly affect pets. Ticks are an important cause of infectious diseases because when an infected tick takes a blood meal, the infection is injected into your pet. Tick borne diseases (e.g.: Lyme’s disease, Ehrlichiosis, Babesia) cause a wide range of symptoms including joint pain, fever, lethargy, and blood cell abnormalities. While there is a vaccine available for one of the tick borne diseases (Lyme disease), the best treatment for tick borne diseases is prevention. Monthly prophylactic therapy with topical medications helps prevent tick attachment onto your pet. You should continue to check your pet (and yourself) for the presence of ticks, paying particular attention to the feet, armpits, neck, and ears. If you find a tick on your pet, call your veterinarian for direction on removal: do not use remedies such as a touching the tick with a match or gasoline. Pets bit by a tick should be watched closely for signs of tick borne illness: lethargy, joint pain, fever, or loss of appetite. If any of these signs occur, you should have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as possible.