Dog ticks are often found in the woods, trees, tall grass, and shrubs. Humans, dogs, and other animals that enter these areas are at risk of getting a tick. Young dog ticks often feed on small, wild animals that are found in forests and prairies. Adult dog ticks tend to seek larger hosts, such as dogs and cats, which are often in these habitats. Exposure to dog ticks may be seasonal, depending on your location. There are many different species of ticks that can affect both dogs and cats. Dog ticks are able to spread serious infectious diseases.
Dog ticks are most commonly found near your dog’s neck and ears, in the folds between the legs and the body, and between the toes, but they can be found anywhere on on your dog’s body, and are usually easy to find. Cats may have ticks on their neck or face. Dog tick bites can cause irritation of the skin, and can cause anemia in pets. An adult female dog tick can can hold up to 100 times her weight in blood. Dog ticks are capable of spreading infectious diseases to the pets and the people on that they feed on. They can also cause tick paralysis. Risk of disease varies by the location where your dog is bit, and the species of the tick that it is bitten by. One of the bigger concerns is Lyme Disease.
Tick Treatment and Control
Speedy removal of ticks is crucial because it lowers the chance of the tick giving your pet a disease. Remove ticks with tweezers to firmly grip the tick as close to the pet’s skin as possible, and gently pull the tick free, without twisting it or crushing the tick while removing it. Crushing, twisting, or jerking the tick out of your dog’s skin while its head is still buried can cause the tick’s mouth to break off in your pet’s skin; this can cause infection. After removing the tick, crush it while avoiding contact with the tick’s fluids, that could possibly still contain disease. Do not attempt to kill the tick with alcohol or petroleum jelly, or apply a lit match to it, as this may cause the tick to regurgitate in your pet and increase the risk your pet becoming infected.
Pets at risk for ticks should be treated with an appropriate preventive. Your veterinarian can recommend a product that best fits your pet’s needs. Owners who take their pets to tick-prone areas during camping, sporting, or hiking trips should check their pets for ticks immediately after they return home, and remove any ticks they may find. If your pet gets ticks in your backyard, removing brush may reduce your pet’s chance of obtaining infestation. If you find ticks on your pet, don’t forget to check yourself for ticks as well.
To learn more, contact our veterinary hospital, or go to http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification/dog_tick