The types of ticks on dogs you generally find differ depending on where you are in the world. In the USA and Canada, canines are more commonly associated with the Brown dog, American dog, Lone star and Deer tick. In the UK, itís the Sheep and Hedgehog tick and in Australia it is the Paralysis and Brown dog tick. However, many further species of ticks have been found on dogs.
Not every tick found on your dog will be life threatening, but some may cause severe illness and can be fatal. Dogs can be exposed to these parasites in areas of tall grass, woodland, meadows and heaths, but can also pick them up in your yard, parks, commons and from kennels. As ticks are able to carry and transmit several diseases and infections, your pets should be protected as much as possible from becoming infected.
Prevention of ticks on dogs is very important. These parasites may be at their peak during tick season, however it is advised that your pets are treated and prepared for ticks all year round. If you live near areas where tick populations are high, look to avoid the parasite's preferred environment. By sticking to paths and staying away from forests, you could reduce the chance of ticks on your dog. This may not be possible when out walking, hiking or hunting, therefore all canines should be covered with a suitable tick repellent. There are a number of methods that could be used, but your veterinarian will be able to confirm which is best for your type of dog. Sprays, collars, spot-ons and rinses/shampoos are options, in addition to some natural methods. Ensure your pets maintain a healthy and balanced nutritional diet, giving them a strong immune system. Daily supplements to their meals such as garlic, brewers yeast, apple cider and white vinegar are all said to produce a natural repellent through skin odor. Most importantly, check your dogs every day for ticks - certainly after spending long periods outdoors where the parasites may be. You do not want these tiny pests brought back into the home and you do not want to leave a tick to feed on your dogs. If you find a tick, remove it and monitor the dogs behaviour.
Dogs and Ticks
If your pet is ill as a result of a tick bite, it may show certain symptoms of ticks on dogs. The dog could have a loss of appetite, swelling, pains around their joints and muscles, fevers, fatigue, depression and even paralysis. Not all will show up immediately and it could be a number of weeks before any adverse developments begin, so be certain to monitor the situation diligently. If your animal begins to act strangely or show any of these signs, they should be taken to the veterinarian immediately for examination.
Prevention is always better than treatment, so do all you can to help your pets. This may mean on your property as well as when you are outdoors away from the home. Control the yard by making adjustments and maintaining a clean environment, free of pests that may bring parasites on to your property. Cut the lawns short, fence the parameters and block holes and gaps where rodents will find ways in. Plant tick repelling plants and cut back thick shrubs and trees. Keep bird tables away from the home (as ticks can be transported in on birds), and create a safe zone, where the dogs and children can play safely. If necessary, spray insecticides as the beginning of the season to kill any parasites that may be laying in wait. Do so in a controlled manner, ensuring family and pets are well out of the way and do not return until its safe.
Dogs with Ticks
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If your dog has a tick and it needs removing, seek professional advice and assistance if you are not confident in removing it yourself at home
As these parasites can carry disease, you should retain any tics that are removed from the skin of you or the fur of your pets. Keep it in a sealed container, as it may need to be analysed should you, your family or your pets fall ill