“Tick-Tock”, it is that time of year.
As the weather gets warmer so does the tick season for your pets. I personally hate any type of parasite that feeds off my dog or cat. Dogs are the most vulnerable because they are more likely to be outside for longer stretches of time.
If your dog is like mine, they will spend a lot or most of their day outside. They love the freedom and ability to play.
But being outside comes with issues during certain times of the year. You need to be aware of what to look for and how to treat your dog if needed.
For me, ticks are the worst, so this has driven me to write an article on what a tick is, how to detect ticks on your dogs, and what can we do to get the ticks off and keep them off. No one wants to watch their pets suffer from anything that can be prevented.
So “tick-tock”, now is the time to learn and act.
What is a Tick?
A blood sucking parasite, yuck!
The most common dog tick is the Rhipicephalus sanguineus and the most common tick in the US is the Dermacentor variabilis.
I bet you always wanted to know that, right?
All you want to know is how do you get rid of them after you see them on your dog. You do need to understand a couple of things about ticks.
The technical word for a Tick is Arachnids. They are a blood sucking parasite that feed on the host animal. This can be your dog, cat, or even a human being.
Ticks can be found in all regions of the world and the United States. However, for us in the US, you will find them mostly in the wooded and grassy areas of North America.
In the spring time, ticks will be hanging out in tall grass and bushes; and will continue to hang out there through the summer and fall. So when you dog goes out to play, they will be subject to a tick attaching themselves to your dog’s feet, neck, or ears.
However, the tick will attach to just about any part of the dog, so you need to be on the lookout.
What will a Tick do to my Dog?
Ticks are transmitters of diseases.
Because the tick is a blood parasite, they can transmit diseases to you dog and even to you as the owner. The tick is not particular on who the host is. They just love the blood as that is their life source of food.
So what are some of the diseases the tick can transmit?
Below we will identify several of these diseases and what they can do your dog or you:
Lyme disease originated near Lyme, Connecticut from an infected deer tick that has now spread throughout the US. As deer are everywhere, the Lyme tick can hitch rides just about anywhere.
Symptoms are joint pain, lethargy, and lameness that results in a decrease in appetite and usually fever. This infection can take months to discover on dogs, thus making it hard to find. The dogs will not get a bulls-eye looking infection as the human will. Then it is too late as the disease has been transmitted from the animal to the human.
This infection is commonly know as “dog fever”. It is very similar to Lyme disease but has an additional concern of diarrhea and vomiting. In severe situations, this infection can cause seizures.
This brown dog tick is one of the most common of all tick transmitted diseases. It can cause weight and appetite loss, water eyes, respiratory issues, nose bleeds, and it can affect the lymph nodes of the dog. If your dog shows signs of depression, then this is the problem and the other symptoms will soon follow.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:
Several types of ticks can attach to your dog and spread this disease. They are the Brown tick, The American dog tick, the Wood tick, and the Lone Star tick.
All of these ticks are found commonly throughout the north and south regions of the US.
These ticks will cause joint and muscle pain, depression, skin lesions, and vomiting. Also, associated with this disease are neurological abnormalities, fever, and anorexia. This disease, like others, can be deadly to your pet.
There are other types of diseases carried and transmitted by ticks, but these are some of the most common.
If your dog becomes infected, it is a good practice to take them to your vet and seek the best treatment before the dog becomes ill or has transmitted the disease to you.
How to remove ticks on dogs.
How do I get these ticks off my dog?
You need to be vigilant about watching for ticks on your dog as a few ticks are more easily dealt with.
If your dog becomes overwhelmed with ticks, seek the advice and help from your vet.
Below is a good way to get the ticks off you dog:
- A good pair of tweezers and make sure it is sterilized before using. When grabbing the tick, grab it by the mouth or head. Do not grab it by the body.
- Grab the tick firmly with the tweezers and pull straight off. Do not twist the tick as you pull. If you crush the tick as you remove it, this might leave the head embedded in the dog’s flesh and then you will need the help from a vet to remove this.
- Do not use alcohol to remove the tick as this might make the tick inject more of its saliva into your dog. This will transmit more disease.
- Once you have removed the tick, you can place it into alcohol to kill it.
- Clean the wound with a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment.
- Now wash your hands thoroughly to prevent any transmission of diseases.
Even though this is tedious and gross, do this for the best health of you pet. They will love you for it and you will be safer too.
How to Prevent Ticks!
There are many ways and things you can buy today to treat your dog if they have ticks. However, the best way is prevention.
Tick collars and topical treatment are the most commonly uses. There are many products today to pick from, including natural products. So if you live in a wooded or grassy area, you should consider one of these products.
Vets can prescribe pills that will prevent ticks and flea for you dog if that is your preferred option. However, there are new products (also available for dogs) now available that can prevent ticks as long as the vet prescription and are more economical for the budget minded.
Happy Dog, Happy Life!
Everybody wants to live a disease free life, including your dog or cat.
Be vigilant and watch you dog for the symptoms described above; and let them play out doors. This is only natural for them.
I hope you have found this article of value and we have identified what you as a dog or cat parent needs to be looking for in the case of ticks.
Please use the links provided in this article to buy the best tick prevention for dogs or cats!
So if your happy, playful dog becomes tired or under the weather, it is time to check them for ticks.
Be ahead of the game and use the best preventative treatments you can buy.
It is for their health and your piece of mind.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave those below and I will get back to you ASAP.