Do you know how to spot a tick? These small insects are dark brown, round and about 1/8-1/2” long. The blood-sucking parasite has 4 stages to its life cycle, beginning as an egg, turning into larva, then to a nymph and finally an adult. As an adult, ticks have eight legs and as larvae have six.
If you see a small, dark spec on your pets’ fur, don’t account it as nothing! Ticks are very dangerous for pets! They may appear as these small, dark specs, or as small growths when engorged. To be sure your pet isn’t infected with ticks, examine their fur regularly with a fine-tooth comb. Infestations are more common in dogs than cats, but occur in both.
There are many tick-related problems that occur when your pet becomes infested. Although not all ticks carry diseases, certain ticks can be deadly to your pet. The “brown-dog tick” and the “American dog tick” are the most common carriers of disease among dogs, including Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tick Paralysis and Lyme Disease.
If your pet is bitten by a tick, the insect should be removed from the skin IMMEDIATELY to minimize the amount of disease transmitted to your pet from the tick. Using a pair of tweezers, grab the tick as close to your pets skin as possible, and pull gently away from the skin. Never use your bare hands to remove ticks, as humans can be infected from ticks as well.
To minimize your pets risk of being infected by a tick, invest in a special collar or products applied topically. Avoid extended exposure to wooded areas with tall grasses and check your clothes and pet regularly after spending time outdoors.
Bio-Spot, Advantage, Zodiac Spot On and Hartz Advanced Care will all kill and repel ticks at all stages.
If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a tick, contact the Bregman Vet Group to schedule an appointment ASAP. For more information, visit www.BregmanVetGroup.com.