Image Credits: Pixabay
Any pet parent is aware of the dreaded tick. Household pets commonly suffer from tick-infestations some or other time in their lives. No matter how careful you are with your dog, he/she may pick up ticks on their walks/playtime outdoors. Ticks can cause some serious diseases, and as a pet parent, it is your responsibility to free your dog off ticks. Before we begin discussing the steps you can take to treat tick bites on dogs, let’s learn a little more about ticks.
What are ticks?
Ticks are arachnids, just like mites and spiders. They are parasitic and feed on blood from their hosts. While there are many species of ticks, the most common is the dog tick. Ticks are found all over the world. They live in bush and grassland and happen to be the most active in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Ticks usually attach themselves to a dog’s feet, ears, head, and neck. However, when the infestation intensifies, you may be able to find them in any part of your dog’s body.
How to find ticks
Ticks can come in various sizes, but even smaller ticks are visible to the naked human eye. What makes it difficult to find ticks is that they tend to settle beneath your dog’s fur, hidden from view. If you want to locate ticks on your dog’s body, your best bet is to feel your dog with your hand. You should be able to notice where the ticks are when you do this.
What to do after you’ve located your dog’s ticks?
If you’ve located the problem areas where you think ticks have settled on your dog’s body, you need to rub alcohol on these areas first. Do not try to remove the ticks with your bare hands as contact with tick blood carries infection. Instead, be ready with a set of tweezers and carefully pluck the tick out from your dog’s fur. Ensure that you remove the tick completely, including its biting head.
Approach a vet
While you can take steps to battle your dog’s tick infestation on your own, it is not advised. You do not possess the kind of knowledge that a vet does, and a vet will be able to help remove the ticks from your dog’s body more efficiently. Also, your vet will be equipped to test your dog’s blood for any sign of disease or infection that could have transferred from the tick.
If your dog shows any symptoms of tick-borne diseases such as weakness, anemia, or lameness, your vet can administer antibiotics to help them recover. Never take a tick-bite lightly; ticks can cause some major diseases in your dog, such as respiratory paralysis, endangering your dog’s life.