It’s such a great feeling to be able to run outdoors with your dog on a great spring day!
The bonus: ensuring a happy, tired dog at the end of the day!
The downside: the tiny, 8-legged critter that you find crawling on your dog – a tick!
It is tick season and this year they seem to be worse than ever. Ticks can be quite dangerous, both to your dog and to you. They carry diseases that range from disabling to fatal. As a responsible dog owner it is up to you to be sure you are pro-actively treating your dog for ticks and checking them each time they come indoors.
The first step you should take is a preventive treatment. I personally use and recommend Frontline Plus in conjunction with Frontline Nexguard on my dogs. This provides the best coverage all the way around. There are numerous topical treatment options available. Talk to your veterinarian and your dog trainer to determine what option would be best for your pet.
The topical treatment options are much more convenient and safe than other methods that are available.
There are shampoos designed to repel fleas and ticks, but this is a more time consuming approach and it needs to be repeated frequently. You also want to make sure the shampoo has an added moisturizer in it to protect your pets sensitive skin.
Another important tool in managing the ticks is keeping your yard trimmed and mowed frequently. Tall weeds should be completely removed, as this is a favorite spot for ticks to hide.
Be sure you are thoroughly checking your dog each time they come inside from a run in the yard or any outdoor excursions. Areas that ticks like to lodge include:
- Between the toes
- In the ears
- Between the legs and body
- Around the neck
What To Do When Your Dog Gets A Tick
Tick removal should be done immediately when you find a tick. It is highly recommended that you remove ticks with a pair of tweezers or using a tissue or rubber gloves. Make sure that all parts of the tick are removed completely.
Also be mindful of your dogs general health during peak tick season. Ticks can transmit many diseases, the two most commonly known are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Both of these have the potential to be fatal. Symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain/swelling
Your veterinarian can test for Lyme disease with a simple blood test and treat with antibiotics with much success if caught early. In Frederick County, MD contact Greenbriar Veterinary Hospital, and in Montgomery County, MD contact Falls Road Veterinary Hospital for tests and treatment.