Creepy Crawly Ticks
Eric Fold, DMV
May 14, 2018
Sneaky ticks can be difficult to find on your pet and can cause serious disease in pets and people. Some of species of ticks have been known to ride into the home on the pet, then reproduce in the house, even during the winter months! We at Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services want to protect you and your pets from these creepy crawlers. If you notice ticks on your pet or want to make sure they are protected, bring them on down and we will help your choose the right product.
So how do I remove one of these nasty ticks from my dog?
Use tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Directly extract the tick using slow steady pressure in a rearward motion.
Make sure and wear gloves to avoid exposure to pathogens
Do NOT crush, twist or jerk the tick out as this may expose you to the contagious organisms and may leave the mouthparts behind in the skin.
Save the tick after removal for identification. The tick can be wrapped in tape and frozen or kept in a sealed container with alcohol to help with identification as this would help narrow disease differentials in the future.
If you need assistance, please bring your pet to the clinic and we will gladly help safely remove the tick from you pet.
There are several diseases that ticks carry, most of which are tick species specific. Some of these can be transmitted in as few as three hours of the tick being attached, suggesting that the faster you get a feeding tick off your pet the better!
- Lyme Disease (Borrelia bugdorferi) - "Lyme arthritis" warm, swollen, painful joints, fever (103-106°F)
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsiosis) - depression, anorexia, musculoskeletal pain, and vomiting
- Ehrlichiosis - lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, and bleeding tendencies
- Tularemia - anorexia, lethargy, weakness, and nasal/ocular discharge
- Bobcat Fever (Cytauxzoonosis) - anorexia, lethargy, dyspnea, icterus, and pallor.
- Hepatozoonosis - Chronic wasting disease characterized by waxing and waning muscle and bone pain and fever
- Babesiosis - weakness, lethargy, anorexia, pallor, icterus, or discolored urine
- Anaplasmosis - lethargy, anorexia, and lameness or reluctance to walk
Public Health Concerns
Though pets may be positive for a particular tick borne disease, that does not always mean the the pet is contagious to people. In fact, it often only clues the owner that they are at risk to getting bitten by a tick harboring the disease in the area. Tularemia is one disease that should not be ignored though, it is highly contagious and the pet should be treated immediately as it poses great risks for all involved.
- Tularemia - Highly infectious disease that is EASILY spread to pet owners. Transmission occurs through direct contact with infected animals, their tissues or excrement; cat bites or scratches; insect bites (mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks); ingestion of contaminated food or water; and inhalation of aerosolized organisms
- Lyme Disease (Borrelia bugdorferi) - Direct transmission does not occur from pets to humans
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsiosis) - Direct transmission does not occur from dogs to people
- Ehrlichiosis - Direct transmission from dog to human is highly unlikely and has never been fully confirmed
- Bobcat Fever (Cytauxzoonosis) - Direct transmission does not occur from pets to humans
- Hepatozoonosis - No reported human cases
- Babesiosis - Not a documented transmission from pets to humans
- Anaplasmosis - No evidence of direct transmission between dogs and humans
Thankfully we have several options for treating ticks and better yet, we offer several products for tick prevention. If you can prevent the infestation from happening in the first place, you will save hundreds of dollars and protect your family from zoonotic diseases. Most of the tick prevention available in our clinic is safe for pets older than 7-8 weeks.
We recommend year round prevention even during the cold winter months. In the event that your pet was exposed briefly to Brown dog ticks in an outside environment, that is all it would take to have a full blown infestation take place in the household even during the dead of winter. Our prevention comes in several pet friendly options to choose from. We have topical spot on treatments that last 30 days in dogs or 90 days in cats, collars that last 8 months, flavored treats that last 30-90 days in dogs, and lastly topical sprays that last only a few short weeks but are able to be applied to the bedding and environment.
When it comes to infestations, we like to treat every pet in the household. We also treat the environment, bedding, carpets, furniture, yard and anywhere else a sneaky tick would hang out.
- Year round treatment
- Treat every pet in household
- 30-90 day, or 8 month options in topical or treat form
Click on the picture below to view the tick prevention we offer in our online store
- “Anaplasmosis/Ehrlichiosis, Canine Granulocytic” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Anaplasmosis/Ehrlichiosis, Canine Granulocytic, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00001-0225.php.
- “Babesiosis” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Babesiosis, 2015, www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00002-0110.php.
- “Borreliosis” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Borreliosis, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00002-0110.php.
- “Bravecto Chew for Dogs.” Merck Animal Health USA, www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/bravecto/chew-for-dogs.
- “Cytauxzoonosis” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Cytauxzoonosis, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00003-0395.php.
- “Ehrlichiosis, Canine Monocytic” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Ehrlichiosis, Canine Monocytic, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00005-0030.php.
- “Hepatozoonosis” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Hepatozoonosis, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00008-0195.php.
- “Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00018-0140.php.
“Seresto.” Seresto® for Dogs - Product Details, Application & FAQs, www.petbasics.com/products/seresto/?WHGRedir=1.
“Tasty Bite-Sized Flea & Tick Control.” NexGard® (Afoxolaner) Protection for Your Dog, nexgardfordogs.com/pages/about.aspx.
- “Ticks.” CAPC Vet, 4 Dec. 2017, www.capcvet.org/guidelines/ticks/.
- “Tularemia” Elsevier: Côté: Clinical Veterinary Advisor, 3rd Edition · Tularemia, 2015, http://www.clinicalvetadvisor3.com/book/chapter_00020-0175.php.