It’s the best part of the year: Summer! With the beautiful warm weather, many of us are enjoying the chance to get our friends and pets together to go out and explore nature. Hiking, picnicking, anything we can do to get out of the house with our dogs makes the season shine. Unfortunately, with all these trips through tall grass and wooded areas, your dog is going to be highly susceptible to tick bites.
So, what should you do if your dog gets bit by a tick? In this blog, we'll highlight the danger of tick bites and what you can do about them.
The Dangers of Tick Bites on Pets
Tick bites on dogs aren’t just uncomfortable but can also pose serious risks. Ticks carry many diseases, including Lyme and Ehrlichia disease. Lyme is well known as nearly half a million people are diagnosed with it every year. Ehrlichia is rare in humans, but common in dogs living in areas with significant tick populations. Both diseases can be incredibly debilitating over a long period of time and carry huge health risks.
- Lyme Disease: This disease causes painful inflammation in canine’s joints, but can lead to neurological and cardiac issues, and even kidney failure. Early symptoms can present as loss of appetite, fatigue, and fever.
- Ehrlichia: A highly common tick-spread disease, it sets in rapidly (in as few as 3 hours) after the bite. It causes your dog's platelet levels to drop leading to abnormal bleeding that’s hard to stop.
Where Should You Check Your Dog for Ticks?
Make a habit of checking your dog for ticks after spending time in nature with them. Don't forget to check in these most commonly bit areas:
- On/Between The Legs
- Around Eye, Ear, and Mouth
- Near The Collar
- In Skin Folds
Ticks can start out extremely small, the size of millet or poppyseeds. The longer they've been attached, the more blood they will consume, and the larger their bodies grow.
How Do You Remove Ticks from Your Dog?
If you find a tick on your dog, follow these easy steps to remove them:
- Use tweezers to grasp the head gently but firmly as close as possible to the skin and pull straight back.
- Be careful not to crush the head as this can lead to infections at the bite sight from parts of the tick getting left behind.
- Once the tick is removed, keep it alive in a jar or other container to take to a vet for disease testing.
- Make sure to clean the bite area with soap/water and alcohol and get regular checkups for your dog.
- If the tick is hard to remove, take your dog to the vet for removal.
How Can You Prevent Tick Bites on Your Dog?
There are products you can buy in the store that provide varying levels of protection. However, the best chance you have to prevent your dog from being bitten by a tick is by using a veterinarian-prescribed tick medication. Consult your vet on what medication is best for your dog considering their weight and health.
One major thing you can do to deal with the threat of your dog getting bitten by a tick on your property is to reduce the amount of ticks in your yard. That means removing areas that make good tick habitats. Keeping your lawn as short as possible gives them fewer places to lie in wait for you or your pets to pass by. You can also call a professional tick control company like Dixon Pest Services to perform home tick extermination.
Professional Tick Prevention
If you feel like the problem is more than you can manage, contact the experts at Dixon Pest Services. We provide pest control services for residents in Thomasville GA and Tallahassee FL to ensure that their pest control needs are met swiftly and to high standards. With our continued service we guarantee that both you and your best friend can enjoy going outside worry free. Contact us today to schedule your free service estimate!