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Dogs have been our companions for thousands of years.
Dogs give us unconditional love. We as pet owners need to do our part in making sure we do enough research and provide them with the best care and comfort.
In this article, we will learn about one of the problems that are prevalent in dogs, ticks. With bodies full of fur, dogs are breeding grounds for pesky ticks. Tick bites can leave your dog irritable and unhappy, in serious cases, this may cause more serious skin conditions for your pet. Observing the symptoms in your pet can give you an idea of how long a tick has been attached to your dog.
Ticks feed on blood. They have an egg-shaped, dark brown body with eight legs. They can get in the fur of your dog, especially in wooded areas. Ticks wait until they can come in contact with the host. A tick will stay attached to your dog's fur. Ticks can live for about two years. To complete its life stage, the tick needs to attach to a host. The adult ticks have six legs during their first life stage. The tick attached to the host, after getting the required amount of blood meal, falls off from the host body. The adult females will lay eggs in thousands after feeding. There are a large number of tick species in the world that make various animals their hosts. The black-legged tick, American Dog ticks, Lone star tick, and more. Tick species like the black-legged ticks, also known by the name of the deer tick, are notorious for being parasites of deers. The lone star ticks are a very aggressive parasite that actively looks for hosts.
If you find an engorged tick on your furry friend, then it means that the tick has attached itself for 2-10 days. A non-engorged tick means it got attached sometime recently.
If you enjoy reading this article, be sure to check out do dogs know when they are dying and do dogs know when you are sad.
External parasites such as ticks are on the lookout for hosts to complete their life cycle. They only have six legs during their first life stage. It is only later, when the tick stays attached to other animals for a few weeks, that the tick grows two more legs.
When most dogs get bitten by ticks, there are no obvious signs. This can lead to the problem increasing. Behavior signs can often give us an idea if they have been bitten. Ticks get attached to your dog and feed on your pet's blood. This causes the areas around tick infestation to become red. The signs of tick-borne diseases and infection might not even appear until 7-21 days. The presence of ticks on your pet can also lead to a tick-borne disease known as Lyme disease. Once infected with Lyme disease, it becomes very difficult for your pet. Changes due to this can be loss in appetite, fever, lymph nodes that are slightly swollen as well as lethargy. The most obvious behavioral changes are that in regards to appetite. Lyme disease, which is caused by an organism by the name of Borrelia burgdorferi, can further lead to arthritis, pain, and lameness. Ticks themselves do not cause any diseases, instead, they carry many diseases that can become a major threat to various animals as well as humans. Tick transfer onto dogs through bushes, grasses when the pets play in the yard. The lifecycle of a tick can last up to two years. Tick goes through multiple life stages, namely from eggs, to larva to nymph and finally the adult tick. These small bugs are surprisingly resilient and can manage to thrive in seemingly unpleasant environmental conditions. The ticks need to stay attached to a host's skin to survive and complete their life cycle.
If ticks have been attached to your dogs for a long period of time, it is highly possible that the ticks may have passed on some infection or disease to your dog. Ticks can carry severe diseases like Lyme disease or babesiosis. If your dog has gotten infected with Lyme disease, you may notice symptoms such as loss of appetite, fever, lameness as well as painful joints that are swollen. All these symptoms can lead to mood swings and changes in how your dog feels.
Suffering through a disease is always tough and it impacts the way you feel in a major way. The same holds true for our furry friends too. Apart from changes in mood, this disease can also lead to labored breathing, coughing as well as extreme lethargy and or fatigue. Of course, each dog has its own little tells, and you as their owner need to be aware of the possibility that their behavior change may be due to ticks. That being said, your vet who knows your dog's medical history is a true expert that can guide you on how to address and look out for ticks on your dog. Not just dogs, ticks can also get attached to humans to feed on blood meals and spread diseases as well. Spots, where the tick can be found on the body, is hair, behind your ears, belly button, and around the waistline. The symptoms of tick-borne diseases in humans can include fever, headache, nausea as well as muscle aches.
The monsoon season brings us a lot of relief after the warm, sweaty summer weather. However, the monsoon is an especially vulnerable time for dogs to contract ticks. During monsoons, the ticks are more of a concern because they can become carriers of water-borne diseases. So, one of the things you need to be vigilant about during rainy days is to make sure that your dogs are dried off soon after their stint enjoying the downpour.
Additionally, it would help if your dog would spend lesser time on grass, where contact with ticks is most likely. Ticks love humidity and thrive in it. During the rainy season, their population increases even more. Ticks can remain pretty active during the winter days not just during a monsoon. To keep your pets safe during monsoon time, you can follow certain practices that will keep your furry friend tick-free while it enjoys its lovely walk outside. The first and foremost is keeping its paws absolutely dry. Make sure to clean its paws until they are completely dry after every walk as paws are the easiest places for the ticks to live. The second is to keep brushing your dogs daily and observing them carefully to check whether there has been a tick infestation or not. If you do come across a tick on your dog, be sure to pull it out and kill it by placing them in water that has been mixed with detergent or using a little bit of kerosene. At times, some ticks that were attached to the dog may even die and fall off your pet's fur coat. Female ticks mostly, after getting the required amount of blood, will fall off from the host's body.
As had been discussed previously, ticks live in tall grasses and other similar plants. When your dog is engaging in outdoor activities they are at an added risk of getting ticks attached to them. Dogs absolutely love playing outdoors. Staying outdoors is perhaps their favorite activity apart from eating delicious food of course.
However, during these outdoor activities, it is very important to keep your dogs safe from blood-sucking tick bites. If you want your dogs to avoid tick bites, you can use anti-tick shampoo on their skin while bathing. You could also purchase appropriate tick collars and anti-tick powders after consulting with your dog's vet. Apart from all these, the most important is to keep checking your dog and cleaning its paws after every outdoor visit as this is the place through which the adult ticks can enter and then remain attached.
If by chance, you do find a blood-sucking tick on your dog after one of its outdoor activities, do not panic. Tick removal is not a very tough task. Pull the tick's body away from the skin of your dog with steady pressure. Pulling the attached tick straight away and not crushing it would ensure that the infection is not spread further. To remove ticks that remain attached to your dog, there are also specialized tick tweezer-styled tools that are available in the market. This process needs to be done carefully. Use steady hands and a swift motion and pull straight back to remove the tick using tweezers. After this, make sure to put the tick in a solution of detergent and water or rubbing alcohol in order to kill it completely. After getting rid of the tick, be sure to clean your dog with soap or anti-tick shampoo. Since it is difficult to examine how long the tick has been on your dog, to ensure that it hasn't been infected with any disease, seek the advice of your vet if any other symptoms occur. These symptoms should not be ignored and can turn serious if not treated on time. It is important to note that while this risk is always non-zero, the importance of outdoor time for you cannot be overstated. Make sure you are not letting the fear of ticks, limit your dog's outdoor time. Be a responsible dog owner, and dust off your dog and maintain good hygiene for your dog.
Do consider these home remedies to tackle the problem of ticks. Washing your dog, using citrus juice on the dog fur, keeping the dog home clean, using natural oils are some of the viable strategies/ home remedies to keep ticks away. In case these remedies don't yield results, consult your vet who can guide you on the best course of action.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how to tell how long a tick has been attached to a dog then why not take a look at are begonias poisonous to dogs, or are azaleas poisonous to dogs.
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