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It's tick season: Here's what you need to know

May 17, 2017

 

Who doesn’t love to watch their dogs run and play outdoors?  In fact, most of us are out there right along with them.  Ticks feed on the blood of their host and are usually active from spring through fall.  They live in grass, tall brush, open fields and wooded areas and can easily transfer onto your dog or you. 

Ticks prefer to stay close to the head, ear, neck and feet area but can be found anywhere on the body.  They are visible to the naked eye so it is a good idea to be diligent in checking not only our pets but ourselves for hitchhikers.  Always check your pets’ bed and/or favorite sleeping area as well as your own clothes.

Many tick species have adapted to suppress a host’s response so affected dogs may show no signs or may show signs of irritation at the bite location.  These signs include redness, chewing, scratching or inflammation.  Ticks may also transmit blood-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Tick paralysis.
 
Symptoms of Ticks in Dogs:

  • Mild to high fever

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Rashes

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lethargy and depression

  • Vomiting or allergic reaction to tick bite

 
The main dangers associated with tick bites are the tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.  Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the joints

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Nervous system disorders

  • Paralysis

  • Spontaneous and shifting leg lameness

  • Fatigue

 
If you do spot a tick, it is important to take care when removing it.  Tick’s blood can transfer to you or your pet.  If possible wear gloves, wipe the area with hydrogen peroxide and use a tick remover or tweezers, try not to squeeze the body, and pull out in a single motion.  Check to make sure the head did not detach from the body.  Dispose of ticks in a container or flush down the toilet.

Apply antiseptic ointment to the area, or use a natural antiseptic, and periodically check the site for a few days for infection or inflammation.  Contact your vet if issues arise.  Wash or dispose of the gloves used and soak tweezer or tick remover in hot water and rubbing alcohol.

Speak to your vet or explore the many natural alternatives available to keep your pet safe.  Do your research, keep you and your pet tick free and enjoy the beautiful weather.
 

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