Tick season is upon us. Not only are ticks nasty little creatures that suck blood, but they transmit several different diseases. Most people are familiar with Lyme Disease in this area. Dogs get Lyme too. They are also susceptible to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a whole lot of others that are hard to pronounce. The best way to prevent your dog from getting these diseases is to prevent the tick from ever getting on your dog. There are now both oral chews as well as topicals and collars that last 30 days or more.
Maybe you think your dog is not at risk? Ticks hang out in long grasses and shrubs. They are quick to hitch a ride whenever they detect body heat. Any dog that goes outside is at risk. If your dog does get bitten by a tick (check them every day) be sure to wear gloves when removing. You don’t want any of the tick’s body fluids on you either. Use a tick remover or tweezers, grabbing the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight up gently. It is possible to leave tick body parts behind. The best disposal method is to put them in isopropyl alcohol. Crushing them releases those body fluids and flushing them down the toilet doesn’t kill them. Disinfect the bite area well after removal.
If you did not find that tick fast enough, it is possible your dog has been infected with a tick-borne disease. Typical signs are flu-like; fever, lethargy, stiffness, vomiting, diarrhea, not eating. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent ticks to start with? Ask us what product would be best for you and your dog. Contact us for product recommendations or with any other questions.
~ Dr. Leslie Carr
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