First off – thanks for deciding to read this article written by Tuscawilla Animal Hospital. What are some tricks to get rid of ticks? is an article that wants to help new and existing pet owners with ticks on their beloved pet family members. We hope to educate you on this subject and further, we hope you find it to be very useful.
What are ticks?
Ticks are tiny bloodsucking incests which actually are part of the arachnid family that are particularly fond of burrowing into your pet’s skin. Therefore, simply ticks are related to spiders, so they have eight legs. They have flat, oval bodies that swell when they eat. Even adult ticks are only about the size of an apple seed unless they’ve just fed.
And they feed on the blood of all kinds of animals, from birds to deer to dogs and people too. They’re also very small. That means they’re hard to spot, which is partly why they’re so good at passing along illnesses without getting caught.
Remember although they look harmless, they can pass diseases into your pet’s bloodstream.
What illnesses can a tick carry?
- Lyme Disease (attacks the nervous system and potentially eyes, joints, liver, and heart)
- Anaplasmosis (attacks white blood cells)
- Ehrlichiosis (very similar to Anaplasmosis)
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (bacterial infection)
- Hepatazoonosis (can affect multiple organ systems)
- Babesiosis (affects red blood cells – turns urine red or black)
- Bartonellosis (known as cat scratch fever)
You might already know that ticks cause Lyme disease. And maybe you’ve heard they can give you Rocky Mountain spotted fever, too. But these critters don’t stop there. In fact, they’re second only to mosquitoes in spreading disease to humans. This is why this article is not only important for your pet but for you too!
What are the common ticks to look out for?
- American dog tick also called a wood tick
- Blacklegged tick, also called a deer tick
- Brown dog tick
- Gulf Coast tick
- Lone star tick
- Rocky Mountain wood tick
- Western black-legged tick
How do I remove a tick from my pet?
You must use extreme care when removing a tick. Ideally, you want to pinch the tick (with tweezers) as close to the head as possible. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers.
If the head of the tick does get stuck, don’t try to dig it out! Your pet will expel it naturally in a few days. You should flush the tick down the toilet just to be sure there is no chance of its infected blood spreading. Remember to clean the skin with rubbing alcohol. Use a sterile needle to uncover the head and lift it out. If a small piece of the head remains, the skin will slowly shed it. If most of the head is left, call us at the Tuscawilla Animal Hospital for help our caring doctors and vet team will take care of your fur baby and answer any questions you might have about this.
Here is a little advice: Do not squeeze the body! If you squeeze the little guy, it will explode expelling infected stomach contents onto you and your pet.
How do I prevent ticks in my yard?
Here are a few simple tricks and techniques to reduce the tick population in your yard.
- Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns
- Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and playground equipment (This restricts tick migration into recreational areas)
- Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
- Stack wood neatly and in dry areas (discourages rodents that ticks feed on)
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. Place them in a sunny location, if possible.
- Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that might give ticks a place to hide.
How do I kill a tick on my dog quickly?
Based on our experience in Animal Hospital work. The best and safest way to kill a tick on your dog is simply to submerge the tick in rubbing alcohol By doing this, it should kill the tick fairly quickly. unfortunately, this method does not cause instant death as many people claim around the internet. But, they probably did not go to vet school.
With that being said, generally, owners find the tick(s) have already bitten their canine. In this case, you will need to correctly remove the ticks so that the head doesn’t stay in your animal skin. It is important to know that dogs are susceptible to dangerous species like deer ticks, American dog ticks, brown ticks, and wood ticks. They can get the same life-threatening diseases we can. So, therefore, when in doubt – give us a call right away so we can help you address this issue.
How do I prevent ticks on my dog?
Prevention is best managed with one of the many veterinary-approved flea and tick products available on the market. Speak to us your veterinarian to find the best, most appropriate flea and tick prevention product for your dog.
There are flea and tick topical treatments, collars, and shampoos; each made to address specific needs. And in extreme conditions, you can try one of these sun and bug blocker overalls, which provide protection from biting insects and harmful UV rays. Here is a brief overview of what is available on the market for your pet.
Spot-on Treatments – What are some tricks to get rid of ticks?
Using an over-the-counter spot-on medication that you purchase from your veterinarian, pet store, or online can be a very effective method for controlling both ticks and fleas. These medications are effective at keeping parasites at bay for up to a month.
While these medications are great, you still need to be very careful about which one you use. Make sure you read all labels carefully, and if you have any doubts, be sure to get advice from your veterinarian before applying.
Pills that are given once a month are readily available for dogs. These medications can work to kill both ticks and immature fleas and will disrupt the life cycle of fleas. They are easy to give and you won’t have to be concerned about small children and cats coming into contact with dogs immediately after application, as you might with spot-on treatments.
Bathing your dog with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients will generally kill ticks on contact. This can be an inexpensive (though labor-intensive) method of protecting your dog during the peak tick season. You will need to repeat the process more often, about every two weeks, as the effective ingredients won’t last as long as a spot-on or oral medication.
Tick Dips – What are some tricks to get rid of ticks?
A dip is a concentrated chemical that needs to be diluted in water and applied to the animal’s fur with a sponge or poured over the back. This treatment is not meant to be rinsed off after application. The chemicals used in dips can be very strong, so be sure to read the labels carefully before use. You should not use a dip for very young animals (under four months) or for pregnant or nursing pets. Ask your veterinarian for advice before treating puppies, or pregnant or nursing pets.
Collars that repel ticks are an additional preventive you can use, though they are mainly only useful for protecting the neck and head from ticks. The tick collar needs to make contact with your dog’s skin in order to transfer the chemicals onto the dog’s fur and skin.
When putting this type of collar on your dog, you will need to make sure there is just enough room to fit two fingers under the collar when it’s around the dog’s neck. Cut off any excess length of the collar to prevent your dog from chewing on it.
Watch for signs of discomfort (e.g., excessive scratching) in case an allergic reaction to the collar occurs. Make sure you read the labels carefully when choosing a collar.
Powders – What are some tricks to get rid of ticks?
Another method of topical medication, tick powders work to kill and repel ticks from your dog. These powders should be used with care during application. Be sure that the powder you are using is labeled for dogs before use, as well as for your dog’s specific age. Also, make sure you check the label to make sure that the product is designed to kill ticks as well as fleas.
This very fine powder can be an irritant to the mouth or lungs if inhaled, so use small amounts and slowly rub it into the skin. Keep powders away from the face and eyes when applying. You will need to reapply the product more often, about once a week during peak season. Some powders can also be used in areas where your dog sleeps, and in other parts of the household your dog frequents.
Another topical application of medication, tick spray kills ticks quickly and provides residual protection. Sprays can be used in-between shampoos and dips, and when you are planning to spend time out in wooded areas — where ticks are most prevalent — with your dog.
Be careful when using this product, and other tick control products, around your dog’s face, and do not use it on or around any other animals in the home.
The Tuscawilla Animal Hospital wrote this article to help you better understand tick prevention is recommended year-round for pets, especially pets that are outdoors often and in wooded areas. We have many tick and flea/tick preventions that are safe and effective for your pets. We hope you have enjoyed reading “What are some tricks to get rid of ticks?” written by Tuscawilla Animal Hospital is a great 5-star rated animal hospital and vet clinic in Seminole County Florida.
Looking for more tips to ensure your pet’s health? Take advantage of reading some of our other great blog articles now! Don’t hesitate to contact our experienced vets and our caring staff members at our animal hospital today.