When we hear the word Arachnid, we think mainly of spiders. But what most people dont know is that ticks also belong to this family. They are eight legged with small tear shaped bodies that can be either black or brown. A full grown female is only about the size of a sesame seed, this is before they become engourged with blood. After they have fed on the host, they can become the size of the nail on your pinky finger. The brown dog tick and the American dog tick are the two most common species of tick that can be found on your dog. There are two other species of tick’s that can be found on your ped called the deer tick and the western black-legged tick.
Ticks have two sharp hook like pinchers on either side of their mouth’s. They use them to hook into your pet’s skin to begin feeding on the animal’s blood. The most common places that ticks can be found on on your dog is on the head, neck, ears, and feet. Some ticks can give your dog lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever while feeding on their blood. If a large number of ticks are discovered on your pet, it may lead to anemia or even what is known as tick paralysis.
Tocls can attach themselves to your animal year round, but the worse time of year for them is spring and summer. It is recommended that if you spot a tick on your dog, to not touch it bare handed. What is known as spitochete (causes lyme disease) can be absorbed through your skin. When looking for ticks it is best to wear gloves and then part the hair to throughly check. Some people use a fined toothed comb if the animals hair is really long or thick.
Ticks are hard to remove. You must use a pair of tweezers or something that you can firmly grab ahold of the tick. When you remove them you have to get a firm hold on the head and pull them out slowly that way. It is very important to not leave any part of the tick on the animal. Once the tick has been removed, apply rubbing alcohol tp the area of attachment, and then antibiotic cream. If your pet has a massive amount of tick’s on them it is best to have a bowl of either bleach or rubbing alcohol to put the ticks in to kill them once they have been removed. If you are uncomfortable removing the tick yourself you can take your pet to the vet and they will do it for you.
Your vet’s office offer’s a number of medications that will either repel or kill ticks. They also carry special shampoo’s to kill both flea’s and ticks. I personally preferr Mycodex or Adam’s shampoo. Vetrinarians also offer vaccines against Lyme disease. Some states such as Michigan have made this shot manditory since it is a heavily wooded area. Owners of hunting dogs should also inspect their dog’s regularly and have them vaccinated against lyme disease.