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Ticks in dogs
Ticks are external parasites that draw blood from their hosts and dogs are prone to get ticks since they often play in habitats where ticks are abundant, such as areas with tall grass and shrubberies. The tick bite itself is seldom a problem for the dog, but ticks can spread a wide range of disease and a tick should therefore be removed from your dog as soon as your notice one. In many cases, checking your dog for ticks once a day during the tick-season and removing all ticks will prevent tick-borne disease since the tick has to stick to the dog for a certain amount of hours before the disease is transmitted.
Tick-borne diseases in dogs
Ticks can spread a wide range of dog diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis. Ticks can also cause a neurological disease in dogs known as Tick paralysis.
There exists a lot of rumours about ticks and how to remove them, including the common claim that petroleum jelly, oil or nail polish will cause the tick to suffocate by clogging its breathing passages. The truth is however that ticks only need to breathe a few times per hour, and this remedy is therefore not a very efficient one. Applying irritating compounds on the tick can also make it regurgitate stomach content into the bloodstream of your dog and this will naturally increase the risk of disease in your dog.
One of the best ways of removing a tick from a dog is to use a fine weight fishing line. This method is superior to tweezers since you do not risk squeezing the tick and making it regurgitate. You will need 15-20 inches of fishing line. Tie the line in a simple overhand knot and proceed to slowly tighten the knot around the head of the tick, as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Gently press the line against the skin of the dog while steadily tightening the not until the tick is removed. Preferably have someone else helping you; this method of tick removal is easier with four hands than with two hands.
Tweezers are another way of removing ticks – ordinary tweezers or special tick-tweezers. Today, many pet shops sell special tick tweezers especially designed to remove ticks from dogs.
Never leave the tick’s head in the wound when removing ticks from your dog since this increase the risk of infection.
Tick treatment for dogs
You can purchase topical anti-tick treatments that will kill ticks, but such medications should always be used with care. Combining Phenothrin (85.7%) with Methopren is one example of a popular anti-tick treatment, but the United States EPA have forced at least one manufacturer of such products to withdraw some of the them from the US market since they can cause strong adverse reactions. Several products are still legal to sell in the United States, but only when labelled with strong cautionary warning statements. Some compounds are for instance unsuitable for puppies and young dogs, elderly dogs and dogs weighing less than 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).
Parasites in dogs: (click for more info)
Cheyletiellosis in dogs
Chiggers in dogs
Ear Mites in dogs
Fleas in dogs
Heartworm disease in dogs
Hookworms in dogs
Mange in dogs
Roundworm in dogs
Tapeworms in dogs
Ticks in dogs
Trichinosis in dogs
West Highland White Terrier