Ticks on Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

 

It is of the utmost importance to keep your dog safe from ticks this summer. This is because ticks can cause diseases that are potentially fatal to dogs. Doing your best to protect your dog against ticks may help. However, as a dog owner, you also need to know how to identify a tick, where to look for one, and what to do if you find a tick on your dog.

What Do Ticks on Dogs Look Like?

Similar in size to an apple seed before they become engorged with blood, dog ticks vary in color. Once they have fed, they can grow to around the size of your pinky fingernail. There are different species of ticks, therefore they don’t all look the same. If you are unsure that you are looking at a tick on your dog, consulting a veterinarian is recommended.

What Are the Signs That My Dog Has a Tick?

The symptoms that your dog exhibits may depend on what type of tick he or she has been bitten by. Here are the possibilities:

  • General irritation of the skin
  • Loss of coordination in the hind legs
  • Barking or vocalization sounds different
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing or retching
  • Breathing speeds up or slows down
  • Lethargy

Should you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, seek care right away from a veterinarian.

Can Humans Get Ticks from Their Dog?

Although humans can be bitten by ticks, they are usually picked up when the individual walks through the woods. It is not likely that a tick will jump off of your dog and onto you instead.

How Do I Find a Tick on My Dog?

Ticks can be hard to find on your dog, like a needle in a haystack if you will. This is why it is important to be extremely thorough when looking for them. Begin by concentrating your search around the head and neck area. Gently feel around for any bumps. Feel down the front legs to the paws. Don’t forget to check in between and under the paws. Finish by checking for bumps under its stomach, chest,and tail.

What Do I Do If I Find a Tick on My Dog?

Remain calm, but act quickly. You will need a pair of tweezers or a special tick removal tool to do the job right.

  1. Grab the tick at its base, where its mouth is attached to the dog’s skin. Be careful not to squeeze the tick itself.
  2. Twist the tick, then pull the tick away from your dog’s skin.
  3. Store the tick in a sealed baggie so that you can show it to your vet.
  4. Monitor your dog’s health for the next few days and seek veterinary care if needed.

Can Ticks on Dogs Be Prevented?

Let’s face it, you can’t lock up your dog, and never let it roam the great outdoors just to stop it from getting ticks. Instead, to prevent your dog from getting ticks, you must use a monthly preventative tick product on your dog.

 

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