Preventing Ticks and Tick Hiding Places on Your Pet

After a long sweltering summer, fall is finally here. We all look forward to the leaves turning, the weather cooling down, and finally getting out and about without dripping in sweat. It is often in the fall that your furry family members get the most outdoor time. With all the hiking, pumpkin patch visits and orchard exploring, there are many more opportunities for ticks to burrow into your furry friends.

There are many different types of tick preventatives available in the marketplace. Some require less effort on the part of the owner than others. Some products are available over the counter, while others are only available through your veterinarian. Topical, oral, and collar varieties are available. Your veterinarian will make specific recommendations to keep your pet parasite-free.

Ticks are efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding. One disease ticks carry is Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints. The risk of your pet contracting Lyme disease can be minimized by the monthly preventatives mentioned above or with the Lyme vaccination, which our clinic offers. If your pet has heavy tick exposure or ever travels to the Northeast, he or she could benefit from receiving this vaccination. Call us today to talk with a veterinarian and keep your pet safe this fall.

Another means of prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees. Should your pet spend time in these areas, check your pet immediately for ticks. Listed below are some common hiding places ticks find on your pets. Be sure to check these areas and keep your pet safe and tick-free.

1. Between the Toes – Have you ever examined your pet’s paws? Hello perfect tick hiding place! All the nooks and crannies that a paw offers is the perfect place for a tick. They love the warm, dark, and out of sight places to nestle into.

2. In and Around the Ears– Remember what was mentioned about ticks loving warm, dark, and out of sight places to nestle? Well, the ear is another example of that exact environment. If your pet has floppy ears this may be especially true for them. Make checking your pet’s ears for ticks part of your regular tick check.

3. Base of the Tail and Groin– Not only do ticks love warm and dark environments, they are also attracted to moist areas, so be sure and check the base of your pet’s tail and the groin area.

4. Neck– Does your pet wear a collar? Most of you have answered “yes” and do not often take the collar off. Because of this, it is the perfect place for a tick to nestle. Be sure to check under your pet’s collar and his/her neck when doing your regular tick check.

5. Eyelids– Think that is a skin tag? Be sure to double check. A tick has a tendency to go un-noticed in this particular area so be thorough in a tick check.

If you are unsure if something is a tick or unsure of how to remove a tick safely, our staff is happy to help. Please reach out to us at any time with questions.