Causes of Dog Ticks

Causes of Dog Ticks
Ticks are very common to dogs that go to remote places such as the woods, forest, or the open fields. Ticks are spider-like creatures that can dwell in the body of your pet. Once in, it will suck up the blood of your pet and thrive. Dogs with ticks tend to suffer a host of other diseases in the long run.

Ticks can be found on tall grasses, trees, or weeds. There can be ticks lurking on fences and in woods as well. These ticks are referred to as wood ticks. Ticks found in trees, tall grasses, and weeds usually belong to the brown dog tick group.

These creatures lie in wait for a host to come by. They are able to detect if a dog is around through chemical cues and vibrations. Ticks can determine if a dog is nearby through its odor and the air it exhales. Once detected, the tick will attach onto the host. Dogs with long fur are more susceptible to picking up these creatures. Dogs most commonly get dog ticks during the months of May and September.

The main causes of dog ticks are as follows:

1. Association of your pet with other dogs suffering from ticks
Ticks are living organisms. As such, they can transfer from one host to another by simple association. To make sure that your dog won’t acquire ticks from other pets, be sure to only keep it in the company of well groomed dogs.

2. Improper grooming
Dogs that are not groomed and cleansed well are more likely to have ticks on their bodies. While ticks are rather inconspicuous, they can be seen easily by a trained eye. Taking your dog to the grooming center regularly can reduce the instances of dog ticks.

3. Unattended straying
If your dog tends to stray on its own, it would most likely come back home one day with several ticks on its fur. Whenever your dog gets out of your sight, be sure to check its fur for any foreign bodies that could have attached to it. As much as possible, give it a long, cleansing bath right after coming back in.

Once the tick is in the fur of your dog, they will crawl onto the paws, ear, armpits, or the back of the neck. Ticks are small creatures and can hardly be seen once it gets under the fur. They are not likely suspected up until your dog starts scratching itself and feeling more and more uncomfortable.

Ticks can cause diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus, Ehrlichiosis, Babesosis, rickettsial pox, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, and Texas cattle fever. Each of these diseases is brought about by certain species of dog tick. Lyme disease is one of the most common canine diseases caused by a tick bite.

To keep your dog from tick infestation, you must keep it away from the things that can expose your dog to ticks. Safeguard your dog’s health at all times. Make sure that it is protected from these parasites that could cause major health concerns to your pet.

Symptoms of Dog Ticks

It is very important for a dog owner to learn how to recognize tick bite symptoms during its early stages. Ticks can cause many weakening diseases. Determining the onset of a tick bite early on can help save your pet’s life.

Ticks come in different types of species. Each of these species can bring about a certain type of disease. Several types of health concerns may be contracted as a result of a tick bite. These diseases can manifest with different symptoms.

As a general guideline, here are some symptoms that pet owners should look out for in their dog:

1. Fever
Dogs suffering from severe tick bite may have its body temperature rise rapidly. The fever will also be associated with the other symptoms listed here.

2. Loss of appetite
Sick dogs can’t eat much. If you notice that your dog is barely touching its food, it definitely is sick. Take it to the veterinarian right away for proper diagnosis.

3. Sore and swollen limbs
Ticks can bring about soreness in the limbs area and almost anywhere else in the body. This is a result of too much blood sucking on that particular body part.

4. Skin infections
Aside from soreness and swelling, skin infections are also apparent on dogs infested with ticks. Try to determine what parasite had penetrated the body of your pet as skin infections may be caused by different organisms and insects.

5. Lethargy
Dogs that are less active than normal might be an indication that they’re suffering from something. Always check your dog for fleas, ticks, and other health concerns every time it feels lethargic.

6. Arthritis
Arthritis can be a symptom of tick-related diseases too. Ticks can invade the body of your dog and then localize themselves in the joint area. As a result, your pet will develop weakened muscles. Try holding your dog up and check if it winces in pain as you do so. However, arthritis in older dogs can be a common thing. This symptom of dog tick is usually associated with other relevant signs suggesting the disease.

7. Abnormal changes in the blood count
While this symptom is fairly hard to detect at home, the veterinarian can check for it. Ticks suck up blood from your pet. As such, they disrupt the normal flow of blood into the bloodstream and towards the rest of the body. Anemia, low blood count, and abnormal platelets count are yet indications of the presence of dog tick diseases in your pet.

If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, it is best that you take it to the vet right away for proper diagnosis. A lot of pet owners mistakenly think that dog ticks are not serious health concerns. Keep in mind that dog ticks can lower your dog’s immune system, thus making its entire body exposed to a host of other diseases.

If left untreated, the effects of dog ticks can be very hard to reverse. In its advanced stages, it becomes harder for a veterinarian to provide the necessary treatment. Dog ticks may even cause death to your pet in the worst cases.

Treatment for Dog Ticks

Every pet owner loves their pets. Therefore, they will do anything to keep their pets in excellent care and good health. A lot of people have loyal dogs not just for pets, but as friends and companions as well. To keep your dog from suffering major health concerns and diseases, it is very essential to keep them clean and free from parasites like dog ticks.

Good health means good hygiene. While there are problems beyond your control, you can minimize problems if you know how to properly care for your dog. Ticks are dreadful insects classified as blood sucking parasites. They can practically thrive on anyone with blood. However, their favorite targets are dogs.

There are different treatment procedures to solve tick problems. One of the more popular modes of treatment is the use of natural herbs. All products made of natural ingredients fall under this category.

There are anti-tick dog powders, oils, and bath products that you can use on your pet once you suspect that it is suffering from dog ticks. Some products, like creams and soaps, need to be washed off thoroughly after application to your dog’s fur.

Of course, if there are natural products, there are also chemical-based formulas that can be used on your dog. They can be obtained from dog health stores or straight from the vet’s clinic. Some of the chemicals that are used to ward off ticks may have strong odor that can pass to your dog. As such, you have to give your dog a thorough bath after application.

Aside from these over-the-counter medications for dog ticks, the best solution will still come from your veterinarian. Self-medication of dog ticks is not advised as your dog may be suffering from some other disease that you’re not aware of. If your dog is sick, be sure to take it to the vet’s clinic for proper diagnosis. The vet should be able to prescribe the proper medication for your pet both to strengthen its immune system and to make sure that all ticks are eliminated from its fur.

The first line of treatment for dog tick is usually topical medications. There’s no need for antibiotics and immune system booster if the dog tick is not yet in its advanced stage. However, if in case that it is, the vet would prescribe certain oral medicines that you have to regularly administer to your pet. Dog tick diseases in their advanced stages can be very hard to treat and may lead to more serious diseases that can even cause death for your pet.

Be informed about using sprays, shampoos, tick collars, and similar home treatments for dog ticks.

Be informed about using sprays, shampoos, tick collars, and similar home treatments for dog ticks.

While these can easily be bought at pet health care stores, you should never use them without the guidance of an expert or a trusted source. It is also important for your pet to be monitored while taking any type of medication so that its progress (or lack of) can be noted accordingly. As such, the medications used can be adjusted up until it provides a cure for your dog.

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