Traveling with your pet/s is a great and memorable bonding activity. You can spend time with your beloved furbabies while discovering new places, trying different foods, and exploring new activities. However, going to different unfamiliar places has its disadvantages. Your fur baby might get ticks. To help you become more aware of this threat, here is some basic information you have to know about ticks.
What is a tick?
Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to humans and animals to suck blood. The dangerous part of this is not when they suck blood but the different diseases they carry and transmit to you and your dog. They may carry diseases like Q fever, Babesiosis, Lyme disease, and rocky mountain spotted fever. These diseases may be e deadly if not treated properly. They may appear as just a simple fever or itch, but it holds a bigger threat. Ticks are not to be underestimated. The problem with this is that people can also get ticks. This means you may catch ticks from your dog or the other way around.
Difference between Ticks and Fleas
It is a common misconception that ticks and fleas are the same and that these are just terms. However, they are different. Ticks and fleas have similar hosts, suck blood, carry diseases, can attach to humans and animals, and leave red, irritated skin. But ticks are more dangerous than fleas. Though fleas can carry and transmit plague and spread tapeworm when it comes to which is more threatening, it is the ticks. Ticks carry several far more dangerous diseases, and in severe cases, they can even lead to death.
Signs that your dog is bitten by a tick
Signs and symptoms of tick bites do not usually appear immediately. Some symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, muscle pain, headaches, and tiredness. These common symptoms appear when your dog is ill, so it would be hard to distinguish the cause. Skin rash, irritation, and red or purple spots are easier to identify as symptoms of tick bites. Some more noticeable symptoms are itchiness on a specific part, vomiting, loss of coordination, change in bark, retching, coughing, and changes in the tempo of breathing (rapid or heavy breathing).
Immediately scan your dog for ticks. If you find one, remove them by grabbing them closely to the skin and lifting them. If it does not let go after you leave it, tug them gently until it does. Be gentle in removing the ticks. You would not want to squish them. Doing so may spread bacteria from the tick’s blood and fluids. Once the tick lets go, clean the wound with soap and water. Always wash and sanitize your hands and the tools you’ve used to avoid spreading the germs. After doing this process, check yourself to see if you caught them. If you want to know more, check out this great article on the things to do once you spot symptoms of tick bites.
Prevention of ticks in dogs
It is natural for dogs to spend a lot of their time outdoors. It is in their nature to be curious and playful. Fortunately, you can lessen the effects of tick bites by giving your dog tick control products. You can also prevent your dogs from catching ticks by being conscious of the environment they are exposed to. Ticks live in shady areas that are near to the ground. So you must avoid places with long grass, low shrubs, and woody areas. Do not overlook the possibility of ticks living within your home. Keep the grasses on your lawn short. Also, check the animals that your dog interacts with. Animals like racons, rabbits, and squirrels are some of the common hosts of these parasites.
Regularly check your dog, especially when you recently traveled with them. Be conscious of the places you visit, and, as much as possible, avoid the places where ticks are usually found. If your dog gets ticks, remove the ones you’ve spotted and bring them to the vet for a check-up. Ticks may be small, but they can carry deadly diseases; you wouldn’t want to take that risk.