How To Survive Tick Season With Your Dog
Tick season is coming, and although they aren’t common in the city, they are a significant threat in outer areas. Dogs adventure through the thick and thin, and the wilderness can be dangerous for them without proper precautions. Here are some tips for surviving tick season with your dog.
What is a tick?
Ticks are eight legend parasites that feed on blood while digging into the skin. Fleas can be confused for ticks, but they’re an entirely different parasite – here’s some more information on dog fleas. There are 40 different species of ticks across Canada, and 20 of them are in BC alone. Ticks can latch on for a few days, and increase the danger by carrying diseases and travelling from animal to animal. Ticks are commonly found in tall grass and trees, waiting to latch on to something passing through. They don’t jump or fly, but they are quick climbers and get into the fur of your dog without anyone noticing.
Common diseases that are found in tick bites include Tick Paralysis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases commonly display symptoms like fever, rashes, spotting, and difficulty walking. If you notice these symptoms, you should head to the vet, even if you can’t find the tick yourself. Tick diseases get serious, fast, and should be treated as soon as possible.
Preparing for tick season
There are many things you can do to prepare for tick season, some more simple than others. If you wear clothing that is lighter in colour, you can spot a tick on you, or on your dog before they’re able to enter their fur. You can also where commercial insect repellent that contains diethyltoluamide, which reduces the interest a tick might have in you or your dog. You should try and avoid tall grass and brush on your walks and adventures. If you have a lawn, keep it trimmed short to avoid all tick hiding spots.
Do a full-body check at the end of your adventure, ticks can grow much larger while feeding and are easier to spot after some time. Ticks are harder to spot on dogs with darker fur. So, be sure to use proper lighting and a comb to access all spots on your dog. Ticks also appear more in warmer areas – like underarms, behind ears, and between toes.
Both you and your dog will need to do whatever possible to stay protected. Talk to your vet about their best tips and tick medications ahead of time to prepare for the worst of it.
Removing a tick from your dog
If you do find a tick, do not remove it with your hands. Bring your dog to the vet and have them show you how to remove the tick safely. If you are comfortable or have experience with ticks in the past, use a pair of tweezers, grasp the head carefully and pull firmly but slowly without twisting. There are some nifty products available – like Tick Keys – that can easily fit in your pocket and are designed to remove ticks quickly and effectively.
It’s common for the tick’s body to come off and not the head or mouth. This is where the real diseases and danger to your dog’s health can take place. Once the tick is removed, monitor the bite spot for a rash or any developing symptoms for a few days. If you are concerned at all about the removal of the tick, or symptoms your dog may be experiencing, head to your local vet.
Summer definitely has more pros than cons but it also comes with a few risks to your beloved pooch. If your dog is experiencing symptoms not listed above, check out our article on heat-related illnesses here.
Article repurposed by: Alyssa Castle
Original Article: Tick Season