How to prevent ticks on dogs | Tick Control Fairfield - Ticks are small, black parasites that can cause a dog to have both mild and severe health problems if they manage to take hold of your dog's skin. It is important for dog owners to learn all about ticks, how they may affect their dog, and how dog owners can prevent tick infestation. This article aims to provide dog owners with clear information about ticks so that they know the facts and reasons why it is so important for every dog owner to educate themselves about these dangerous parasites.
What do ticks look like?
Adult ticks generally measure between 1/16" and ¼" long (3mm -6mm), but maybe larger or smaller depending on the tick species and phase of life. Adult ticks have eight legs, and unlike fleas, their mouth-parts are adapted to feeding on the blood of mammals and birds.
Did a tick cause a disease?
Ticks are vectors of disease. They generally need to spend at least 24 hours attached to a dog before they can transmit disease-causing organisms. Ticks feed by inserting into the skin of a dog and sucking out blood – ticks generally take between 3 – 5 days to engorge themselves with blood.
Tick saliva passes the disease along to your dog. It may also irritate the dog's skin that including mild dermatitis or inflammation around where the tick has inserted its mouthpart; this may cause itching which makes your dog want to scratch off or bite at his tick parasite. Such agitation, however, is usually insufficient to cause ticks to detach from their dog host.
Where are ticks likely to be found?
Most tick species are found in low-lying scrubby areas, reeds, and long grasses where there is moist soil suited to egg-laying. Ticks may be present throughout the year depending on climate conditions – warm temperatures and humid climates can facilitate tick activity all year round, whereas cold or dry weather drives ticks into dormancy until better weather returns.
Ticks seek out sheltered spots on dogs to attach themselves for feeding – armpits, ears, anus, between toes, are common tick hiding places. To prevent tick infestation it is important to check your dog thoroughly looking for small black dots which indicate a tick has attached to your dog's skin.
What dangers do ticks pose?
Ticks can spread tick-borne diseases by feeding on blood from your dog and passing various tick pathogens into the dog's bloodstream. Once inside your dog, these tick species can infect all major organs of the body including the heart, lungs, and brain which may lead to serious illness or even death.
Some ticks are also capable of resulting in paralysis of an infected dog's legs or even respiratory failure if left untreated if not caught early enough when signs of infection first occur.
Ticks transmit various tick-borne disease organisms to dogs according to their preferred living environment, however, most ticks are parasitic across a range of different life stages in both human and animal hosts.
Be aware of ticks do not fall off within a few weeks. If ticks continue to feed on dog blood you must speak with your vet about checking for tick-borne disease and the next steps in treating your dog for ticks and tick bites.
Ticks at first glance: How to know whether the dog has dog ticks?
The first visible sign of dog ticks is generally their bite marks on the dog's skin where they have attached themselves as parasites feeding on your dog's bloodstream.
Physical evidence such as black dots indicate where dog ticks are hiding out waiting to attach to your dog's skin; some breeds such as Dalmatians may also exhibit spotted patterns of raised bumps around where ticks have fed from – these are tick bite marks.
Fever, listlessness sign dog is sick with a tick.
Finding dog ticks on skin or in a dog's fur is also a good indication of dog ticks. Dogs often shake their bodies to get rid of ticks before they are discovered or fall off themselves. However, sometimes it is difficult to tell whether this is just dog hair falling out or actually dog ticks having dropped off after feeding on your dog's bloodstream.
Tick species vary in size and some are very small yet still capable of transmitting various infectious diseases to dogs according to their preferred living environment and other factors such as age and health status of the dog affected by ticks. If you want confirmation for any suspected cases of tick infestation ask your vet about getting tested for tick-borne diseases.
After ticks: What happens if the dog is not treated for dog ticks?
If ticks are left untreated, they may continue to feed on your dog's bloodstream, leading to serious illnesses such as Lyme disease or other infectious diseases carried by dog ticks. Left unchecked, dog ticks may even prove fatal. Even skin infections caused by tick infestation can be very difficult to treat as they often spread quickly throughout a whole body, proving fatal without veterinary intervention in severe cases.
It is essential that you prevent dog ticks – it could save your dog's life! If you suspect your dog has recently been bitten by a tick or there are concerns about any signs of infection which have developed over time after a suspected tick bite, speak with your local vet about dog tick bites and ticks.
How do ticks spread?
Tick eggs are laid in moist soil where they hatch into larvae. After feeding on blood, ticks molt and develop into nymphs which then become adult ticks. Ticks need hosts to feed on before each stage of their development. It is crucial to their ability to reproduce new tick offspring. If ticks lay eggs at the site, tick larvae may emerge there and new tick infestations will gradually increase if not checked. Preventative medicine can prevent the next generation of ticks from re-infesting.
Preventative medicine to ward off ticks
Preventative medicine is necessary to ensure healthy dogs are protected against future tick attacks by topical anti-parasite tick preventative dog medications which kill ticks before they have a chance to attach and feed on your dog. Keeping ticks off with dog tick preventative medication will also prevent dog ticks from being able to lay their eggs near the dog's living area, thus preventing a new tick infestation from occurring in the future.
If you are using veterinary medicine to control current tick infestations, be sure to follow all instructions on the veterinary medicine label exactly as required – don't apply too little or not enough topical anti-parasite medication for your dog. If there is a problem applying the correct amount of dog tick treatment according to its instructions then speak with your vet about alternative treatments that might be more suitable to your dog's requirements.
Tick prevention tips to remember:
- Keep dog ticks off by repelling ticks using dog grooming treatments that contain tick repellent properties. Tick repellency dog shampoo is also available for dog washing purposes which can prevent ticks effectively.
- Prevent breeding of ticks by preventing environmental conditions where ticks might breed, reproduce or have their habitat so that they cannot spread - this may include controlling rodents or other animals which are hosts for tick infestation.
- Look out for signs of illness caused by dog tick bites – if you suspect a dog has been bitten by a dog tick either due to physical evidence such as spotting the actual dog tick attached itself.
- Keep ticks off by preventing dog ticks from attaching themselves to dog skin by using dog preventative tick medications.
- Prevent ticks on dogs that are easily attached to dog hair or fine dog fur - use of dog grooming treatments containing tick preventative properties may be beneficial for controlling ticks naturally.
Your vet can supply you with all necessary information about preventing dog ticks, the harmful effects of untreated dog tick bites, how to check for signs of illness if you suspect your dog has been bitten, how to treat canine illnesses caused by dog ticks, and more advice on treating currently infested dogs. Ensure that you always follow veterinary prescriptions accurately per instructions – failing to do so is dangerous for your pet! Your veterinarian is there to help keep your best friend healthy so speak to them about ticks today.