Warning: You will get itchy reading this...and you will run to check your dog's toes and pits for ticks when you're done. You'll see!
Tick season starts in early spring (Nymphs) and continues all the way to the late fall (adults). So, basically if it's not freezing out, you need to be aware of ticks.
Lyme Disease can be serious stuff if left untreated. Lyme is caused by bacteria and is often misdiagnosed because symptoms are flu-like. If you think you or your pup have been exposed and the tick has been attached for more than 8 hours you should consult with your vet (or doctor) to discuss treatment options. Fortunately, Lyme is very treatable if detected early.
Ticks are arachnids (spider family) and they love dark, moist places. The most common place to find a tick on a human is in the arm-put or the groin area. Some common places to find ticks on a pup include their groin area, ears, between their toes and under their belly.
It takes between 8 & 10 hours for the bacteria in a tick's gut to be transferred to the host. So even if you find a tick you can relax, because a tick on you or your pup doesn't mean an immediate trip to the ER. Stay vigilant in checking your pupper and you can avoid unnecessary Lyme and infection risk all summer long.
Engorged Deer tick (ugh!)...might as well be a totally different tick at this size, so memorize this one too!
Not all ticks carry Lyme Disease; and the types that do, don't all have it. So again you can relax, finding a tick doesn't mean your pup just contracted Lyme disease, but again you do need to be vigilant in checking them to make sure they don't!
Ticks live in the city too. Ticks love wooded and grassy areas, whether they be in urban or rural areas. They are transported all over the country on the warm bodies of hosts, including birds, so consider all these areas as potential tick hotels. Make sure you talk to your vet about Tick control solutions!
This is a Dog Tick (no Lyme!)...we know, it basically looks like the other one, right? So stop memorizing pictures and bring it to your vet already!
You can safely remove a tick with tweezers if you're careful. It's best to use tweezers and not your fingers to remove a tick (remember what we said earlier about squeezing their gross little guts out?). Grasp the tick with the tweezers as close as you can to your pup's skin and lift the tick straight up and out; steady as she goes! Thoroughly clean the bite area, and your hands, with soap and water and then apply some antiseptic to the wound. If you're unsure of the type of tick, place it in a clear container with some alcohol (to kill it) and then bring it to your vet for identification, and Lyme testing if necessary.
Keep your lawn trimmed and leafy debris out of your yard. Reduce their favourite place to live, and you'll reduce the chances of coming in contact with a tick.
As the owner and operator of BFF and an experienced dog trainer I am committed to sharing fun, interesting & valuable information with our readers. All of the information shared is validated through peer-reviewed academic studies and complimented by many years of personal experience working directly with animals. I also make lots of terrible jokes to try and make you smile. Sorry.