Knowing how to protect you and your dog against ticks is the best defense in the fight against ticks. Tick prevention is important because as we know, they carry a variety diseases that pose serious health risks. Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis are the most common. These diseases can be difficult and expensive to treat and sometimes impossible to cure. The Brown Dog Tick, American Dog Tick, Black-Legged Tick or Deer Tick, and the Lone Star Tick are the most commonly found in the United States. Get to know the kind that live in your area so you know the risks.
It’s a good idea to check your dog daily for ticks, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Run your hands slowly over your dog’s entire body feeling for bumps or lumps. Ticks can be very small and like to hide out inside ears, between toes, under the tail and collar, and in the armpit and groin areas. Don’t forget to check yourself too!
When You Find A Tick
If you find a tick on your dog, don’t panic. Use a pair of tweezers or the Tick Twister to grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible, then pull back slowly until the tick is extracted from the body. Don’t grab the tick by the body, twist it, or pull too quickly. Disinfect the wound and apply an antibiotic cream approved by your veterinarian. Keep it clean and disinfected until it has healed.
Watch for signs of tick borne illnesses in your pet. Symptoms may not appear for up to three weeks. If you think a tick has bitten your pet and she’s behaving differently – loss of appetite, lethargy – talk your veterinarian right away.
Don’t Wait Until Tick Season
The goal is to prevent ticks from getting onto your dog or cat. If you live in a climate that experiences yearly freezing temperatures, you may notice ticks become less active or disappear but don’t be fooled, they can hibernate over the winter. Fortunately, there are lots of effective preventative medications on the market. It is best to talk with your veterinarian about which one is right for your dog and your area of the country. Be sure that the medicine you use repels the types of ticks in your area.
Around the Yard Keep your bushes, trees, and lawn trimmed to reduce ticks to help keep the tick population at bay. If you have a tick infestation in your yard, consider using environmental products or hiring an exterminator to address the problem. Use caution when treating your yard, many products can be harmful to people and animals.
We stock a full range of tick preventatives and treatments to keep your dog safe and healthy. Check out NexGard, Simparica, and Bravecto, chewable tick preventatives available at VetRxDirect.