Ticks are very dangerous for us as well as our fur babies. They are carriers of disease and because they attach firmly feeding on the blood slowly, they may go unnoticed for a while. Ticks on dogs take several days to complete their feeding.
We did have a dog get Lyme disease and it was scary as one day she just couldn’t move. A dog can live with Lyme disease but relapses are common. Once inside a dog’s body, the disease can cause issues in specific locations, such as the joints or organs, or overall illness symptoms.
How do dogs get ticks?
Ticks wait for host animals on the tips of grass and shrubs. There is a myth that ticks jump or fall from trees, this is not true. Ticks can only crawl, they can’t jump or fly.
After a walk with your dog, make sure to check them (and yourself) for ticks. They like to attach mostly around the ears, head, neck and feet. Although you can find them anywhere by feeling for small bumps on their skin.
There are at least 15 different tick species in North America, but only a handful are likely to be found on your dog. They are the American Dog tick, Lone Star tick, Black-Legged or Deer tick and the Brown Dog tick. See below for map from the CDC.
How to remove a tick?
- Use a fine tip tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as you can.
- Pull upward steadily and slow until the tick releases. Don’t twist or pull fast, that could cause the mouth parts to break off in the skin.
- Use a Kleenex to handle the tick as you could contract the disease just my handling them if you have a break in your skin.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose by placing in alcohol, sealed bag, wrapping tightly in tape or flushing down the toilet. (but make sure it goes down!)
- Clean the area and your hands with soap and water, or rubbing alcohol.
Avoid other remedies such as applying grease or petroleum jelly or touching the tick with a hot match, as these techniques actually cause the tick to salivate and can increase the chances of contacting the disease!
How to prevent ticks on dogs?
Talk to your vet about what may be best for your dog and the area you live in, as well as what is best for your family. There are spot on treatments, shampoos, flea & tick collars, as well as treatments for your yard.Buy Dog Flea & Tick Medicine Today – Shop over 1,000 Brands at Chewy!
To reduce chances of a tick bite:
- Be checking your dogs for ticks daily
- Check your dog over before bringing them into the house after spending time outdoors (as well as yourself)
- If you find a tick, remove it immediately
To reduce chances of having ticks in your yard:
- Remove leaves
- Clear tall grasses and brush around your home
- Place a 3ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration
- Mow lawn frequently
- Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees
- Discourage unwelcome animals from entering your yard. (deer, racoons, etc.)
- Remove trash from the yard as this could give ticks a place to hide
Signs to watch for tick disease
Symptoms for tick diseases to watch for are fever, loss of appetite, stiff joints and lethargy, but can also include vomiting and diarrhea. Seizures can also happen in extreme cases. If you pull a tick off of your dog and notice these symptoms, call your vet right away!
Dog Bless~ The Dog Connection