Ticks and Dogs
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors it is a good idea to check them all over for ticks on a regular basis. Feel all over your dog’s body for any small bumps and take a good look to make sure your dog is tick free. Parts of the world that get a good freeze over the winter will see a reduction in tick populations, but if the first snow falls before the ground freezes ticks can easily hibernate all winter. Tick infestations tend to be common in the spring and fall when the weather is cool because your dog’s warm body can easily attract ticks. Ticks usually live in tall grass giving them a good vantage point to drop onto your dog’s body. A bite from a tick can be irritating by itself and can lead to skin infection, but ticks are also carriers of disease such as Lyme Disease, Babesia, Cytauxzoonosis and Mycoplasma. Remember that your dog could also bring ticks inside where they can latch onto humans too and humans are very susceptible to Lyme disease.
Ticks come in a variety of sizes and colors. Some can be as large as a pea and easily spotted while others are very small. If you do see a tick, remove it with tweezers or a tick removal tool. When ticks latch onto your dog’s skin they imbed their head into the dog’s flesh so you need to make sure you get the entire tick out and kill it. Preventative topical medications are a good way to reduce ticks on your dog, but they are not 100% effective so still be sure to check your dog regularly!
Prevention of babesia canis in dogs: efficacy of a fixed combination of permethrin and fipronil (Effitix®) using an experimental transmission blocking model with infected dermacentor reticulatus ticks.