Dog ticks are parasites that feed on dogs and are normally found in the woods, bushes or tall grass.
As such, they usually attach themselves to the dogs when they walk in such an environment. Most pet owners dread the prospect of dog ticks on their pets, and for good reason.
Dog ticks not only make a dog’s life miserable, but they also transmit various diseases which can lead to death. It is therefore important for pet owners to know how to protect their dogs and home from tick infestation.
Although not all dog ticks transmit diseases, the threat of this danger is always real where ticks are concerned. In most cases, tick-borne diseases are not immediately transmitted to the dogs.
This means that if the ticks can be located and removed as soon as possible, the better.
Some of the most common tick-borne diseases are:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Lyme disease is characterized by lameness, fever, loss of appetite and body pains. The symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are vomiting, and fever.
These conditions are curable but if not treated in time, they can cause death. In order to ensure the dog’s safety, one should be on the lookout for any changes in the dog after a tick infestation.
Given the seriousness of diseases associated with dog ticks, pet owners should try to keep their dogs free of ticks. One of the ways in which pet owners can protect their dogs from ticks is by applying a tick repellant on them.
Tick repellants are available in the market or from your local vet. The downside of using such repellants is that some dogs have allergic reactions to the chemicals in them. You should always watch your dog closely after the first treatment.
If a pet owner does not use a tick repellant, it is advisable to check the dog for ticks on a regular basis.
This is particularly important if the dog spends most of its time outdoors, or if one lives in an area infested with ticks. Dog ticks usually attach themselves in areas with little or no hair as well as in the body’s crevices.
If the dog has ticks, one can either use tick control dips or powders to kill them. One can also remove the ticks manually by using tweezers to grasp them. It’s a good idea to use a cotton swab to smother the tick with fingernail polish before removal.
You should wear gloves as a precautionary measure since one cannot always tell which ticks can transmit diseases to humans.
As much as possible, the tick’s head should not remain in the dog’s skin, since it can cause inflammation or secondary infection. Once removed from the dog, the ticks are best disposed of by throwing them into a fire or toilet.
It is advisable to apply an antiseptic to the tick bite in order to prevent infection. Protecting one’s pet from dog ticks can save both the pet owner and the dog a lot of trouble in the future.