Ticks are insects that have eight legs like a spider and an egg-shaped body. They vary in size from just 1mm to 1cm long. Ticks live in grassed and forested areas and are more common between spring and autumn, although they can be found all year round.
Ticks can cause diseases by transmitting bacteria and microbes when they bite an animal or human. Their egg-like bodies become larger in size as they fill with blood after biting.
It’s important to know how to get ticks off dogs as quickly as possible before they can transmit diseases to your pet.
How do I know if my dog has a tick?
Ticks are big enough to spot with your eyes. But if your dog has a long and thick coat then you will have to search for them with your fingers.
Run your hands over your dog’s body when you get back from a walk to check for any lumps or bumps as a tick will feel like a small bump on your dog’s skin.
The quickest way how to get ticks off dogs is to begin by searching the areas they tend to attach themselves too. Begin by looking and feeling around your dog’s head, neck, ears, and feet.
Have a good strong grooming brush to hand as a thorough combing also helps to remove them.
How do I remove a tick from my dog safely?
Rapid removal lessens the risk of disease. How to get ticks off dogs can be tricky as you need to be extremely careful not to squeeze the tick’s body or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog.
Squeezing a tick’s body can cause it to expel blood back into your dog, increasing the risk of infection.
Twisting a tick off your dog is the best way of how to get ticks off dogs. Pet stores also sell tick- removal devices to make the twist and remove process easier. Twisting them off your dog is the best removal method.
Do not try to burn the tick off and don’t cover it with lotions, oils or moisturisers to suffocate it. After you’ve removed the tick, give the bite area a thorough wash.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection caused by tick bites. Dogs that suffer from Lyme disease may become depressed and lose their appetite.
They may also have other symptoms such as fever, lameness, swollen and painful joints, and swollen lymph nodes.
Lyme disease in dogs can be treated with a course of antibiotics. If you think your pet has Lyme disease, contact your vet immediately as when left untreated it can affect your dog’s health in more serious ways.
What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis can be spread by tick bites and is caused by the bacterium Babesia. The incubation period is about two weeks, but some pets are not diagnosed with the disease for months or even years after transmission.
If your dog is suffering from babesiosis you may notice they are depressed, have pale gums, a swollen abdomen, and a fever. They may also lose their appetite and their skin may become yellowish.
If you suspect your dog has babesiosis after you have walked them in a tick-infested area, take them to vet immediately and share your concerns about a possible tick bite.
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