There is a small gray mass on your dog’s coat. You try to remove it but can’t. It turns out to be a tick! From April through September, you will most likely pick up one or more ticks while walking your dog.
However, these parasites are also active in winter. How can you prevent ticks in your dog? And what are some ways to remove ticks? Here’s everything you need to know!
How Can My Dog Be Infected by Ticks?
Ticks are small spider-like parasites that live in the underbrush and tall grass. They often wait in groups for a heat source to pass. Usually, they are animals, but sometimes they are humans. They stay in their new victim and, after a while, bite the skin. Here the animal can live for a few days by sucking blood. When satisfied, they release them again. Ticks can carry diseases and transmit them to humans and animals. Therefore, removing ticks from dogs as soon as possible is advisable. Most ticks are found on the head, neck, and paws, but they can also be found on other body parts.
Where Can You Encounter Ticks?
It is believed that ticks fall from trees to their victims in the forest. However, this is not true. Unfortunately, ticks can be found in many other places, including home gardens, parks, meadows, and heaths. They live mainly on moss, grasses, ferns, and other shrubby plants.
Ticks and Lyme Disease
One tick-borne disease is Lyme disease. This disease often progresses without symptoms but can be very damaging to humans and animals in the long term. Tick bites cause symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, and redness in the area around the bite. Fever, lameness, and swollen lymph nodes are also observed.
How to Remove a Tick From Your Dog?
After a walk, you may see a small tick crawling in your dog’s fur. These are nymphs, the first stage of ticks. These nymphs make their way to the dog’s skin to drink blood. They are easily removed from the fur. The bitten nymph ingests the blood as a meal and becomes an adult tick. At this stage, it swells to a considerable size, and its legs are embedded in the skin, making it sometimes impossible to remove. Bitten ticks can be removed using special tick removal tweezers or tick hooks. Part of the tick’s mouth may remain on the dog’s skin. The tick’s parts cannot wander around inside the dog’s body, as is sometimes said. This is a myth.
Tips for Removing Ticks From Dogs
- Do not paralyze the tick with alcohol, oil, etc. At that moment, the tick will most likely pour the contents of its stomach into the wound.
- Use tweezers, hooks, or cards.
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and remove it gently in a circular motion.
- If necessary, disinfect the wound with iodine or betadine.
How To Prevent Ticks in Dogs?
You can protect your dog from ticks by administering tick repellent such as tick tape or drops to the neck. Consult your veterinarian to find the right tick prevention products for your dog.
It is almost impossible to prevent tick bites on your dog without preventative medication. However, you can check for ticks by brushing your dog thoroughly after each walk. Also check your dog’s head, ears, and toes carefully. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible. Ticks do not transmit disease until 24 hours after the bite.
Do you have any other tips? Don’t hesitate to share it with us in the comments below!