How to Know if Your Dog Has Ticks
Ticks are mites that feed on the blood of our dogs. They also attack other mammals, including people, though their favorite hosts are dogs. Ticks are not only known for causing direct health implications but also as carriers and transmitters of multiple infectious diseases, among which we find Lyme disease and typhus. So you know how to act accordingly, in oneHOWTO we tell you how to know if your dog has ticks.
The greatest evidence to know if your dog has ticks will be seen in its attitude and movements. Symptoms that may make you think your dog has been attacked by these mite are:
- your dog scratches its ears
- the eye area and neck are also scratched
- it bites its own feet
You must know that ticks tend to occupy the area around the ears, near the eyes, neck and between the dog's toes. So, the best way to know if your dog has ticks is to perform a thorough inspection of your dog, focusing more on these areas. Look carefully among your dog's fur every time you go for a walk in areas of risk and check each of the part its body. It is advisable to use gloves.
The tick may have already left your dog's body and therefore it is possible that you do not find it when you make the inspection. However, being a parasite that carries diseases it may have caused an infection, injury or anemia, among other things. What you should do is find the bite. The affected area will probably be swollen and reddish.
During warm periods ticks reproduce. In order to do so, females must feed on blood. That is why they await patiently in areas with abundant vegetation for the arrival of a dog. So, if you take your dog for a walk in a park, garden, forest or any place with high grass, your dog may have come across a tick.
The symptoms may appear days after the infection as ticks secrete a sort of saliva with anesthetic properties (sedative) and smear this on the area that they are biting. For this reason the point of contact may go numb for a while and our dog will only become aware of the tick after some days, when the sedative effect has passed.
In addition to these symptoms signalling the presence of ticks on the dog, there are symptoms that can lead us to believe that the dog has contracted a disease due to ticks.
Ticks can carry diseases that are serious. When it sucks the blood from our dogs it also opens an entry for these germs to enter and infest our pets. The most common infectious disease in dogs is called Canine ehrlichiosis.
Be aware that the symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis are sometimes not specific and also depend on force of the infection and the immune system of the dog. Still, if our dog is not healthy, if it has ticks the animal may present:
- weight loss
- Neurological disorders
- Bacterial infections
- High fever
- Increase in lymphs
- Respiratory problems
- Vomiting in the acute phase
Babesiosis and Lyme disease are two other common diseases caused by ticks. Next in oneHOWTO we detail the symptoms of each of these diseases that are caused by ticks.
- Babesiosis: fever, anorexia, pale mucous membranes, diarrhoea, lethargy, anaemia, nosebleeds, blood in the urine, wheezing and loss of vision.
- Lyme disease: Produces fever, anorexia, myopathy, polyarthritis and lymphadenopathy.
Because ticks are a serious problem that can jeopardize the health of our pet dogs and even us (since there are diseases like Lyme disease which can be transmitted to people) the best option is prevention. Take note of these tips and save your dog the suffering of these conditions and instead bet on their good health and yours.
- Brush your dog properly
- Maintain good hygiene. Bathing the dog is essential to prevent it having ticks. Use anti-parasitic shampoos and bathe it with them during warm periods, once a month or every two months.
- Especially in the summer heat, pay attention to the presence of ticks and rid your dog of them.
- You will find specific products available for purchase in pet shops that prevent ticks, use them.
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