“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
You quickly run your hands along your dog’s head, back and belly, and, finding no ticks, you think your job is done.
Actually, finding ticks on your dog is not so simple. These tiny bloodsuckers are good at playing hide-and-seek, particularly when their host is covered in thick dark hair. Ticks can latch on to your furry friend and live in hiding, feasting on blood for several days at a time. Even dogs with flea and tick collars and other forms of protection can be targeted by these parasites.
Checking your dog carefully for ticks is extremely important since these parasites can make pets and humans seriously ill. Anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick paralysis are just a few of the potential diseases caused by tick bites.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council predicted that 2017 would be a big year for illnesses transmitted by ticks and mosquitos, noting that the threat of diseases continues to spread into new areas, “creating a year-round menace to both pets and their owners.”
How Ticks Find Their Victims
Using heat sensors, ticks find a victim and typically latch onto the warmest places on the dogs body.
“The head, neck and ears are prime places, but ticks can occur anywhere,” says Dr Ann Hohenhaus. “Look and look again. You have to look everywhere. You can easily miss ticks.”
You might be surprised by some of the places ticks have been found on dogs.
In the Groin Area
The groin probably isn’t the first place you would look for ticks on your pet. However, they can get attached in and around your dog’s bottom. You should check the perianal area. Ticks are drawn to dark, moist areas on the body. Also make sure to check your dog’s tail.
Between the Toes
Ticks have nothing against your dog’s paws. Though it takes extra to latch on, a tick can become attached between the toes. If you find one there, use hemostats or tweezers to remove it. Grasp the tick without crushing it and pull it straight out.
In and Around the Ears
At DoveLewis, a very sick Sheltie named Ollie was at the hospital about to be euthanized. As an intern, who was working alongside the veterinarian, reached out to comfort Ollie and as she scratched behind his ears, found a tick engorged with blood. The quantity of fecal material suggested the tick had been attached to the dog for some time.
The tick was removed. Thinking the dog could have tick paralysis, the veterinarian discussed the possibility with Ollie’s owner and sent the dog home. Within hours, Ollie was back on his feet, fully recovered and eager to go outside.
Tick paralysis is really uncommon, but is something dog owners should be aware of.
Unlike other tick-transmitted diseases, tick paralysis will go away without lasting health effects once the tick is removed, says Dr Hohenhaus, who treated a Yorkie with paralysis caused by a tick found on the dog’s lip.
She also recommends checking inside your dog’s ears, including the ear canal. “I’ve found ticks on the inside of floppy ears,” Hohenhaus says.
Under Clothes and Collars
If your dog wears a collar 24/7, it’s easy to forget to remove it during tick inspection. Ticks can hide under your pets collar, harness or any article of clothing they are wearing. If your pet wears a T-shirt or sun protection shirt, those have to come off. People often times don’t think to remove articles of clothing while checking for ticks.
Is it a skin tag or a tick on your dogs eyelid? Sometimes it’s hard to determine says Dr Hohenhaus.
Dogs can develop skin tags anywhere on their bodies, but they frequently appear near the eyelids. You don’t want to rip off a skin tag so make sure that the black mass on the eyelid is actually not a tick.
Information courtesy of: PetMD
Talk to your vet to determine the appropriate tick preventative that best suits you and your dog!
The link above offers many resources and solutions available to help you and Fido start out on the right paw! Behavior issues to potty training and basic commands, we’ve got experts to help with that!!!
Fun Fact: Puppies navigate by smell from the moment they are born, when their eyes are closed and their hearing has not developed. Your puppy even has a special organ on the roof of his mouth that allows him to “taste” certain smells.
Training Tip: Provide by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy agility trainer. There are lots of distractions while doing agility. Lots of excited dogs and it usually takes place outside. Make sure you have practiced obedience with lots of distractions before starting agility so your dog will listen to you.