With mild winters and spring moisture a threat to your pet increases …. ticks. In the mountains and surrounding areas ticks are in the bushes in record numbers waiting to pounce on you and your pets. Ticks crawl on and attach to the skin of their hosts in the nymph, larva, and adult stages. They then feed on the host’s blood. They leave each host between stages to molt and grow. Wildlife can actually develop blood loss anemia with heavy infestations.
Ticks are attracted to hosts by motion, changes in light, warmth, and increased carbon dioxide levels. Tick bites are painless but local irritation and infections can occur. Salivary secretions of neurotoxins may cause diseases such as tick paralysis Ticks are carriers of many diseases infecting people and their pets, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Tick-borne pathogens may affect virtually any organ system.
Ticks should be removed quickly to limit time available for neurotoxin or pathogen transmission. Cats, being fastidious groomers are quite efficient at removing ticks but dogs are less so. Check your dog thoroughly after a romp through the bush. Ticks are smooth, round or oval lumps attached by a tiny mouth to the skin. They can be difficult to see, especially on dark or thick-coated dogs. Grasp the tick close to the skin with fine pointed tweezers and gently pull free. Wash the region with soap and water to prevent local inflammation and infection. Hot matches, nail polish and Vaseline are usually ineffective and prolong the attachment.
Bathing, spraying or powdering the pet with appropriate products, can also kill ticks. A tick collar containing amitraz (preventic collar) is available, as are some sprays that may repel as well as kill ticks.
Canine Lyme disease is preventable with a vaccine. A new product called Defend can be applied to a dog’s skin once a month and will repel fleas and ticks as well as kill those on the skin. Consult your veterinarian and avoid these unwelcome passengers on you and your dog.
Article submitted by: © Terri Perrin (Biography & Additional Information)
Article courtesy of Pet360