Ticks are an external parasite. They feed on the blood of unlucky host animals, such as dogs. Your furry friend may not even know they are there.
According to the ASPCA, “Ticks tend to be most active in late spring and summer and live in tall brush or grass, where they can attach to dogs and outdoor cats.” They are, “particularly prominent in warm climates and certain wooded areas of the Northeast.”
Ticks are bad news. They can carry Lyme Disease which can affect humans, dogs, cats, and other mammals. Your dog may not show signs right away, but even without signs it is a good idea to regularly check for ticks.
Ticks are visible and usually located around a dog’s head, ears, and feet.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease include depression, swelling of the lymph nodes, loss of appetite, fever, swollen, painful joints and kidney failure. Luckily Lyme Disease, when detected can be treated with antibiotics.
During a routine tick check, if ticks are found, consult this ASPCA link for proper removal technique. It is important to use extreme caution as exposure to the tick’s blood may put you and your dog at risk. You should always wear gloves and never have direct contact with the tick.
It is a scary thought, but routine checks and knowing what to do if your find a tick will go a long way in preventing serious diseases. Talk to your vet about preventative measures you can take.