Eight Tips for Keeping Your Dog Free From Tick-Borne Diseases
Ticks are highly irritating creatures, but their ability to transmit diseases is more important than the problem. Ticks that are embedded within the pet’s skin could transmit a range of life-threatening infections, such as:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Lyme Disease (Borrelia)
Another issue that ticks can trigger is a rare neurological disorder known as “tick paralysis.” Lastly, ticks can cause inflammation and bacterial infection near the bite point.
Strategies for prevention
Prevention is the best policy for keeping your dog safe from tick-borne diseases. Here are eight tried-and-true methods to achieve this:
1. Find out what time of year is “tick season.”
Although ticks are shared all over North America, year-round prevention of ticks is advised. The time of the year they pose the greatest threat differs from region to region. Talk to your veterinarian When tick season begins in your area. This is the time to be the most vigilant about the measures to control ticks.
2. Be aware of the layout of the terrain
Ticks are attracted to areas that have dense vegetation. Many of their time is in the ground; however, they are skilled in crawling to the edges of shrubs and grasses. This elevated position helps them to jump onto animals who are walking by. Be sure to keep your dog in such bushes and grassy areas, especially during the tick season when it is at its peak.
3. Make use of products to prevent ticks
There are many products available that will stop and eliminate ticks. Some tick collars work. However, they are not the best option for dogs that swim much or have “mouthy play” with other dogs (the pet’s playmate may ingest chemicals inside the collar).
Other options for preventing ticks include a month-long Medicine. It can be administered orally or directly (to your skin). There are many products to pick from, and many are paired with a flea-prevention medication. Consult your vet about the tick-prevention products that best fit your pet.
4. Frisk your dog daily
Do the “tick check” on your pet every day, especially after outings? Removing these tiny bugs before they have had a chance to get into your dog prevents the risk of transmission of diseases. The most popular places for ticks to attach are your pet’s neck, head, and neck. Ears Pay particular focus on these specific areas.
5. Make sure you save the ticks you get rid of
This sounds gross, but I’m sure you’re right. It’s disgusting, but the ticks you eliminate could prove beneficial. Different types of ticks carry diverse illnesses. Since symptoms of other tick-borne diseases are similar, knowing the tick species your dog was exposed to could aid your vet in focusing on a diagnosis quicker. I recommend dumping and storing ticks in disposable containers filled with alcohol. Please bring them to the vet should your dog get sick.
6. Take care to remove ticks that have been embedded and promptly.
Try to eliminate ticks embedded in your dog as fast as possible. The less time you spend with your dog reduces the chance of transmitting disease.
Myriad suggestions on the web explain how to remove the embedded tick. Be careful with the information you find. Burning a tick using an explosive match isn’t practical and could damage your dog’s hair coat. The tick is coated with Vaseline(r) or another kind of lubricant will do nothing but makes the tick more slippery and difficult to remove. Acetone, the chemical used within nail polish removers, makes the tick less brittle and is more likely to break in the removal process.
Discuss with your vet regarding preferred methods of removing ticks that have been embedded. Whatever way you decide to use, wear gloves to reduce any chance of transmission for yourself.
7. Take a look at your options for Lyme disease vaccine
The Lyme disease vaccine has been available for several years. The majority of veterinarians that are experts in infectious diseases advise against vaccination of dogs that are not in areas with an elevated risk of Lyme disease. In addition, there is a disagreement about how much protection the vaccine can provide. Talking with your doctor about this subject is highly recommended.
8. Find out the signs and urgent veterinary assistance
Be sure that the majority of dogs who are exposed to ticks will not develop tick-borne illnesses. For those that are, early identification of signs, swiftly arriving at the diagnosis, and timely treatment by your veterinarian increases the chances of a favorable result. If your dog has had tick exposure, consult your veterinarian about the signs you should look for.