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How Harmful Are Ticks to Dogs, and How Can I Protect My Dog?

Ticks are common parasites that attach themselves to a dog's skin. Ticks can affect both outdoor and indoor dogs.

Ticks drink blood and transmit diseases that can cause lifelong medical problems for the dog and its family. They are more common in some regions than others.


How Ticks Infect Dogs

Ticks attach themselves to their host by biting into the animal's skin. Most ticks produce a glue-like sticky substance that keeps them on the dog. The place where they attach themselves usually looks red and irritated.

The ticks survive by feeding on the dog's blood. Some female ticks can cause paralysis by producing a toxin as they feed. Ticks can be as small as a sesame seed, making them almost impossible to see in your dog's thick fur.


Identifying Tickborne Diseases

Ticks can cause many diseases, the most well-known tick diseases are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause fever, rashes, anemia, swelling of the joints, and arthritis. Signs of a disease may not appear for several weeks after the bite.

If you suspect that your dog may have been bitten, look out for any changes in appetite or behavior. You can talk to your veterinarian at Alvin Animal Clinic about the diseases prevalent in your location.


Protecting Your Dog From Ticks

It is hard to keep your dog from exposure to ticks, especially while on walks and during outdoor activities. The best way to protect your pet is by keeping ticks from attaching to the dog's body.

Prevention through the regular use of tick preventing medications is the best way to protect your pet. Alvin Animal Clinic can help you with a tick prevention plan for your dog.


Regularly Inspect Your Dog

A way to prevent a tick infestation is by catching the issue early. If your dog has the habit of roaming or running through heavy brush or tall grass, they should be on tick prevention and you should inspect them regularly. Check the entire body, paying attention to the head, neck, ears, and legs.

Tick bites can be difficult to detect after the tick has left as they do not itch. You may not realize that the dog was bitten. If you live in high-risk areas, inspect your dog several times a day.


Where Do Ticks Live

Ticks often inhabit places where wildlife live, such as parks, wooded areas, and walking trails. Identify areas that may be heavily infested and limit your pets' activity in these areas. Ticks can also inhabit residential areas, daycares, and kennels.

Get rid of overgrown bushes and keep the grass short. Trimming, mowing, and weeding your yard can help reduce the threat of ticks. Ticks are usually more active in the fall and spring in our part of the country.

If you find a tick on your pet or your pet shows signs of illness, take them to the veterinarian immediately for a checkup and treatment.

For more on how harmful ticks are and how you can protect your dog, visit Alvin Animal Clinic at our office in Alvin, Texas. You can also call (281) 585-5183 to book an appointment today.

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