The Labrador Rescue Trust

Tick, Tick, Tick, Don’t Waste Time

Oh No…..I’ve found a Tick on my dog

Don’t panic…..but don’t leave it there…..you need to take immediate action.

 

Ticks are small parasites that suck blood from other animals. They have eight legs with an egg shaped body, which will become larger and darker when filled with blood. Unlike fleas they don’t fly or jump, instead they climb or drop on your pets coat when they brush past whatever the tick is sitting on.

 

Ticks are usually found in woodland and grassland and are most common between Spring and Autumn, although they are active all year.

 

A tick will bite and feed on your dog for a few days, and then drop off once they’ve had enough. But it’s not that simple because during this time it’s possible the tick could give your dog a disease. 

 

A serious bacterial infection called Lyme disease is passed by ticks, which both you and your dog can get. Why should you worry about this?

 

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:

  • Depression
  • lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes

 

If caught early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, so if your dog shows any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately. 

 

Prevention is better than cure

Stop ticks from biting your dog by using a tick treatment that either kills or repels them if they attach. There are both spot on treatments, collars and tablets to choose from and you should ask your Vet for advice on the best option for your dog. 

 

Check your dog for ticks

Ticks are very common in some areas of the country so make sure that you check your dog all over for them, especially if they’ve been enjoying the sunshine and romping in long grass. Pay particularly attention to ears, face, neck, underarms and belly…..but ticks are very opportunistic and can attach themselves anywhere…..so best practice is to be thorough and check all areas!

 

I’ve found one on my dog!

Because tick bites can carry diseases, it’s important to remove them straight away.

 

You need to make sure that you don’t squeeze it’s body because this can push blood back into your dog, which will increase the chance of them getting a disease.

The same goes for pulling the body off leaving the legs in your dog. 

 

So, to avoid squeezing the body or leaving the legs in, you’ll need to twist the tick off. This can be done using a tick removal tool, which are available in most pet shops.

 

Don’t try to burn them off or use lotion to suffocate, as this just down work!

Remember

Ticks can bite you too, so remember to check yourself as well as your dog. Best advice is to wear long sleeves, long trousers and apply insect repellent, but sometimes that is just not practical. 

 

If you do get bitten, use the same tool to twist the tick off and if you are concerned that you have not been able to remove it all, speak to your GP.

 

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