What are Ticks and How to Stop Them

What are Ticks and How to Stop Them

What are Ticks?

Ticks are greyish-brown, small blood-sucking creepy crawlies. They are egg-shaped and about the size of an apple seed. They can become ‘engorged,’ where they get bigger and darker as they suck blood from its host. Its head is usually found buried beneath the dog’s skin. Ticks can also be found all over your pup’s body, so make sure to give a thorough examination of your dog after you think he has been exposed to one. Not all ticks may appear the same, as they tend to look different throughout their lifecycle.

Signs your Dog Has Ticks

The best indicator that your dog may have ticks is when you locate a balloon-like creature sucking his blood. However, if you can’t find one, the tick may have fallen off, and could show up as a minor skin irritation or an infection. Significant blood loss from tick bites can also lead to anaemia.

Other signs to watch out for are…

  • A bump or lump on your pet’s skin
  • Licking/chewing where the tick is located
  • Skin irritation such as red, inflamed skin
  • Anaemia due to blood loss
  • Lethargy
  • Head shaking, if the tick crawls into the ear
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tick paralysis- While very rare, some ticks can inject a toxin into your dog’s body while feeding, leading to weakness and paralysis of the legs and body. While alarming, removing the tick will allow your dog to return to normal.
  • Lyme disease: This tick-borne disease can cause depression, loss of appetite, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and renal failure.
dog sitting on the grass scratching himself due to skin sensitivity
tick in a tweezers held up close with shih tzu dog in the background blurred

Removing a Tick

You’ll usually find ticks in areas around a dog’s head, neck, ears and feet, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on all of your dog’s body for them. They don’t fly or jump, but instead climb or drop on to your dog’s coat when they brush past them.

If you spot a tick, it’s important you remove the whole tick as carefully and as safely as soon as you can. Getting rid of ticks can be tricky due to their very resilient mouthparts, but with the right tools removing them should be relatively straightforward.

What You’ll Need: Gloves, tweezers, disinfectant or antiseptic cream

What To Do:

With your tweezers, grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible, and pull it out very carefully and slowly in a straight, steady motion. Try not to jerk as anything left behind could lead to an infection. Clean your pet’s wound with antiseptic and make sure to clean your tweezers with isopropyl alcohol. Monitor the area where the tick was to see if an infection develops. If the skin remains irritated or infected, consult with your veterinarian.

Preventing Ticks

If your four legged friend likes to spend time outdoors, we recommend you routinely check for ticks. Ticks can transfer between hosts, so it’s also a good idea to inspect all family members after outdoor activities in wooded, leafy or grassy areas.

The simplest way to protect your pup from getting fleas and ticks is to avail of a regular preventative treatment which can be applied to your pet’s coat once a month. We offer a range of preventative treatments that help repel fleas, ticks, and other nasty parasites, such as;

This product kills fleas, ticks & biting lice, and it stops development of flea eggs, larvae and pupae in the home. It can be used in puppies over 2kg / 8 weeks old.

A daily supplement to naturally repel fleas and ticks. Made from 100% natural active ingredients, VERM-X® Flea & Tick Powder has been developed using a concentrated formula that naturally repels fleas and ticks.  Adding a small amount to your dog’s daily feed will assist in building their natural defences against unwanted visitors, whilst helping to promote skin and coat condition.

These treats have been formulated by animal nutritionists to promote your pets wellbeing. These delicious treats contain a unique blend of ingredients which help repel fleas & ticks naturally, whilst also containing B vitamins & Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.

  • Regular Vet’s Visits

Make sure your dog is visiting his vet regularly as they will be able to spot anything you might have missed while conducting a body inspection

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