How Do I Know That My Dog Has Ticks! What to do About It?
Ticks are arachnids that require blood meals to complete their intertwined lifecycles. In appearance, they're spider-like, egg-shaped creatures that can measure between 1 mm and 1 cm in length. Your dog has more chances of getting ticks if you live in woodland, grassland, or scrub areas. Spring and autumn seasons are most favorable for ticks, and your dog stays at maximum risk of getting infected.
These eight-legged creatures can neither fly nor jump. They drop or cling to your dog's fur when your dog brushes past a tick-infested area.
How Do I Know My Dog Has Ticks
Ticks aren't microscopic creatures. Upon close inspection, you can easily detect ticks on your dog's fur. Running your hand around your dog's back to check for lumps and bumps is one effective way to sense the presence of ticks on your dog's fur.
Ticks usually tend to stay around your dog's head, feet, neck, and ears. Thoroughly brushing your pet's fur can prove very effective in ridding your pet of this menace.
If you still can't figure out whether your pet has ticks or not, the following are the five signs you should look for in your dog that are more than conclusive to make a decision.
1. A Random Encounter with a Tick at Home
If you find a tick on your bedding, carpets, or floor, it was most likely brought into the house by you or your dog. Don't ignore a single tick in your home as a one-time occurrence. Check your dog and examine it more closely.
2. Your Dog is Burning Up with Fever
A dog can develop a mild to high-grade fever due to a tick bite, which could happen in a duration of hours or days, or weeks. Weakness, lack of appetite, shivering, and unusual panting are all symptoms of fever.
Fevers may indicate various illnesses and symptoms, but it's always better to check your dog for ticks.
3. Random Scabs on Your Dogs Body
A submerged tick may cause a dog to nip or lick the bite site excessively. If you note this activity or find scabs on your dog's body, you should investigate further.
4. Constant or Frequent Shaking of Head
A tick can be burrowed in your dog's ear canal if you catch him shaking his head constantly. Ticks prefer wet, moist environments and will crawl from the ground up to areas such as a dog's head, groin, or between his front legs. If your dog is scratching his head more than usual, get a flashlight and look around his ears for ticks.
5. Bumpy Skin
Though it might not seem to be a big deal but feeling a bump on your dog while scratching him may be the first sign of a tick bite. If you see a lump, don't dismiss it. To get a better look, part the dog's hair.
How Do I Protect My Dog from Ticks?
I. We can employ numerous preventive measures to protect our pets from ticks. You need to know that prevention is the most critical move in the battle against ticks. Throughout the year, use an appropriate tick repellent.
II. Check for ticks regularly on any dog, particularly one that likes to run through tall grass or thick brush. Pay keen attention to the neck (especially under collars), head, ears, feet, and between the toes.
III. The tick type determines the location of ticks. Brown dog ticks feed on the same dog during their life cycle (larvae, nymphs, and adults), so they are often found in the kennel, bedding, or garden. They are also capable of surviving inside your house. Paralysis ticks live on native animals such as possums, bandicoots, and kangaroos.
IV. Look around your yard for tick-infested areas. Tick hotspots are overgrown bushes and patches of tall grass, so mow, plant, or trim them down. Outdoor garden treatments for ticks will also help if you detect a severe infestation; be sure to follow the label's instructions for application and how long your dog and family should stay away afterward.
Are Ticks Dangerous for Pet Owners as well?
Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to humans, just as they can to dogs.
Lyme disease is a severe illness, so if you take your dog for a walk in an area where there are deer or sheep, take precautions to avoid getting bitten.
Lyme disease incorporates a circular rash, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. If not treated, the disease will proceed to viral-like meningitis, facial palsy, arthritis, and nerve damage.
If detected early enough, the treatment of Lyme disease with antibiotics is very effective. If a tick has bitten you, make sure to inform your doctor. Ticks in Europe can spread a variety of severe conditions, so be extra cautious when traveling.
Always remember to keep your dog indoors when it's harvesting season for ticks. Using preventive medications alongside other countermeasures will protect your dog from ticks.