Summertime is in full swing here in San Angelo, and synonymous with the season of sun, is the season of ticks. These tiny disease carriers can be especially hard to notice within the fur of our canine companions and pose a serious health threat as well. Thankfully, ticks can be prevented, removed easily, and we’re here to help. Let’s talk about some ways to protect your dog against ticks and tick-borne illnesses.
Ways To Prevent Ticks on Your Dog
The best way to keep your dog safe from ticks is to ensure they never get on your dog in the first place. And there are many ways of preventing ticks from attaching to your dog:
- Topical medication. Over the counter medications such as Vectra 3D, and Advantix are highly effective at repelling ticks.
- Oral tablets. Veterinarian prescribed medications, such as NexGard, can be chewable tablets that works by killing the tick when it ingests the medication through your dog’s blood.
- Get Lyme Disease Vaccinated. Ask your vet about the Lyme Disease Vaccine for dogs, and if it’s appropriate for the breed of dog you have.
- Landscaping. Ticks can only crawl, so they wait at the top of vegetation for their next meal ticket. This is why tall grass is especially a risk, and why we recommend keeping your lawn maintained with mowed grass and cleared brush. A professional pest control company can treat for ticks along the perimeter of your property.
What To Do When a Tick is Encountered
The goal is to get the tick off your pet quickly and intact if possible. The best way to do this is with a pair of fine tweezers.
- Grab the tick by the neck, close to your pet’s skin, and pull it straight back.
- Pulling to the side could result in the head or mouth parts being left behind (resulting in a higher risk of infection, but thankfully not a higher risk of disease), whereas straight back will make the tick release.
- Be sure not to squeeze too hard as this will crush the tick making it harder to remove.
Once the tick is removed, clean and sanitize the area to help prevent any possible infection. If your pet was bitten – or you fear they may have been bitten – you can bag the tick you removed and take it to your local vet for testing.
A Tick Bit My Dog, Now What?
If your dog has a tick bite and you remove the tick, you can take it to the veterinarian for testing. They will test it for a variety of tick-borne diseases including:
- Lyme Disease. Painfully swollen joints, fever, loss of appetite, and if left untreated can lead to kidney failure, and cardiac and neurological problems.
- Ehrlichia. Bleeding episodes, eye issues (like hemorrhage or blindness), neurological issues, anemia, lameness, and swollen limbs.
- Canine Babesiosis. Abnormally dark urine, anemia, fever, weakness, depression, sudden collapse.
- Anaplasmosis. Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing/labored breathing, seizure, bruising, uncontrolled bleeding, lameness.
Most of the time, a tick bite won’t transmit tick-borne disease, but it’s important to be aware of the possibility because symptoms can be serious. It’s also possible for a tick or tick bite to go unnoticed and the pet starts displaying symptoms with little warning. If you live in an area with lots of ticks and start noticing symptoms in your pet, take them to the vet for testing.
Bug Express, Your Partners in Tick Extermination
At Bug Express, we take the health of you and your four-legged family members seriously with professional flea and tick control. Our flea and tick extermination process includes:
- Comprehensive property inspection. This ensures we find all their hiding places.
- Application of Flea/Tick Control Products. We apply these wherever is needed.
- Ongoing Tick Prevention Planning. Pre-set visits, and helpful tips to keep you and your pets safe.
If you suspect you may be experiencing a tick or flea infestation, call us today for a free quote.
Ways To Prevent Ticks on Your Dog in San Angelo, TX
Serving San Angelo, Big Spring, and surrounding areas.