There are hardly any dogs that haven’t or don’t fall prey to a tick attack at some point of time in their lives. It is no different than us Americans having to deal with high taxes at least one point in our lives or having to endure a ridiculous movie such as Interstellar, Spanglish, or Meet the Parents II and III, for instance.

Ticks have close to 2,000 species and also subspecies and thrive in humid environments. Dogs get the cat flea mostly, which biologically is called the Ctenocephalides felis. These are either chocolate brown or black in color and measure between 1 and 3 millimeters length wise.

Causes

Fleas are divinely nimble when they go host searching. They are able to jump 10,000 times, single row wise, bouncing to up to 2 feet even. Their bodies are laterally flattened, thus allowing quick movement on the host’s coat. A normal tick’s lifespan ranges between sixteen days to twenty one months and depends on its environmental conditions.

They are seen mainly on dogs’ abdomens, tail bases, and in the head area. Heavy infestations, of course can be all over the dog’s body.

It’s only when the dog starts scratching, licking or biting its skin due to acute itching that a tick attack may be suspected. Flea dirt or flea droppings along with flea eggs can also be seen in dog kennels. Acute tick attacks can lead to anemia, listlessness and lethargy in dogs, particularly in puppies. Dogs that spend most of their time outdoors, particularly in gardens, are increasing the chances that they will have a tick encounter.

This does not mean you should not have a garden and not let your dog outside. That is just ridiculous. You could fence off your garden though. Also, in Northern California, in the Sierra Nevadas, ticks like hang out on manzanita bushes and when a deer or another type of animal brushes by the bush, the tick can hop on the animal. This is why it is prudent to perhaps cut those bushes back if they are on your property. They are also a fire hazard!

Treatment

Have your veterinarian take a look at your dog as soon as you see ticks on his body. The treatment similarly, needs to be tailored to the dog’s individual environment. Remember, a few anti-tick products are toxic. The veterinarian may also suggest certain long term prevention measures.

The anti-tick treatment needs to be done for the dog as also its immediate environment. Common treatment methods comprise application of topical lotions all over, shampoos, sprays, and germicidal powders to kill off both adult ticks and eggs. Certain vets also prescribe special mixtures and products that are safer and more effective.

Additionally, the dog can be made to wear a tick collar to keep these parasites at bay. You must also ensure to fumigate the whole house, upholstery, and bedding. A professional pest control company may also be brought in to spray or fog insecticides if the situation is getting out of control.

If a tick is pulled off your pet, you should burn that tick so you know it is dead.

Prevention

If the dog is tick prone, use a fine-toothed tick comb for combing his coat every day. Also wash his bed clothes with a strong disinfectant weekly. This would also require treating you garden or backyard thoroughly while focusing on shaded areas, where ticks love breeding. Insecticides apart, even microscopic worms that eliminate flea larvae and/or nematodes can be used.

A ferocious tick attack may turn dangerous and could even kill the dog. Not only can it cause severe anemia but temporary blindness is not uncommon if proper treatment is not done. Moreover, since they become omnipresent, they may even affect the inhabitants of the household. Thus, this one enemy gets no mercy and has to be eliminated completely.

Ticks can carry Lyme disease as well. That can be a lethal disease. Something to know!

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