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Ticks On Dogs

July 16, 2013

If you own a dog, chances are you may have pulled a tick or two off its body.  It is difficult to prevent a dog’s exposure to ticks, because the creatures can attach themselves to the dog whenever you go outside.

Ticks attach themselves by inserting their mouths into the dog’s skin.  They they feed on the dog’s blood.  The only way to protect your pet is by regularly using a preventative product.

Examine your dog daily to be sure he isn’t carrying any unwanted intruders.  Check his body, ears, tail and feet.  Be sure to look between each toe.  Our Great Dane, Coby, picked up really tiny ticks, what I referred to as “seed ticks,” one year.  I didn’t see them and on a veterinary visit for a check-up, the vet found the ticks.  I was extremely embarrassed and also concerned for my dog.  Coby was a dark blue-gray and the pads of his feet were black.  I just couldn’t see the little black ticks between his toes.  They weren’t located anywhere else on his body and we didn’t see any signs of ticks in the house.

Ticks can carry serious diseases.  Lyme Disease causes swelling in a dog’s joints, leaving him with a painful arthritic condition that could last a lifetime.  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be fatal.  Ticks can cause anemia if they consume enough blood from a dog.

The parasites that carry disease transmit them to humans, as well as pets.  Find an acceptable preventative that you administer regularly to your dog.  Remember that the tick may still crawl onto the dog’s fur.  It just won’t be able to feast on his blood.  This means the tick could fall off of the dog inside your house.   During tick season, it is a good idea to also treat your home, both inside and out, with a good parasite preventative.

Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best product for your pet.  The Food & Drug Administration has received numerous complaints about popular spot-on flea and tick preventatives but so far, no evidence has been found that they cause harm.  Just be sure to administer them properly.  Walmart carries the Pet Armour line of preventatives and reports thus far indicate they work as well as Frontline or Advantage.

I welcome comments and questions on this subject.  If you have experienced any problems with the spot-on preventatives, or any other kind, feel free to share this information in the comments section below.

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