Better weather means more quality time outside with your pet. Before you lace up your shoes, spend some time understanding what lurks in the grass—and how you can keep yourself safe from ticks.
What are ticks
Ticks are parasites that live—and feed on—animals. They can be found almost anywhere, but are much more common in warm and humid climates, and typically inhabit wooded areas, tall grass, and parks.
Why should I worry?
Ticks carry disease-causing microorganisms that can result in a range of health issues for pets and their humans, including Lyme disease, typhus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Q fever, and more.
How do they get on my pet?
Ticks crawl onto your pet (rest assured, they won’t be flying into you or dropping from trees).
How do I know if a tick is on my pet? Where can they be found?
It can take as little as 48 hours for a disease-carrying tick to infect its host, so it’s important to find and remove them quickly. After spending time outside, especially after being in a tick-prone area, make sure to check for ticks—especially areas where the fur is thinner, such as around the ears, neck, head, and between the toes.
Ticks can also attach themselves under the collar, around the tail, and under legs.
How can I prevent ticks on my pet?
We highly recommend using preventive medication, such as Simparica Trio— a monthly chewable that protects dogs against not only ticks, but also heartworm disease, fleas, roundworms and hookworms.
We also recommend avoiding letting your pet go into heavily wooded areas, tall grass, or overgrown weeds. If that isn’t realistic, definitely check for ticks after your long walk or hike outdoors.
What should I do if I notice a tick?
Removing a tick from a pet should be done carefully with household tweezers.
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick by the head (as close to the attachment site on the skin as possible)
- Pull firmly and straight, ensuring not to leave any part of the tick behind
- Once removed, store the tick in rubbing alcohol before discarding; do not squish the tick, as it can release eggs into the environment.
- Clean your pet's bite with antiseptic
Keep in mind: If the tick is large or you suspect it has been present for 48 hours or longer, you should closely monitor your pet for signs of illness that could indicate a need to see your vet team and proactively screen the annual tick test early.
What else should I know?
Although ticks aren't entirely preventable, pet parents can take key steps to reduce the risk of their furry best friends getting them. Because even a one-week lapse in medication could leave your pet susceptible to disease-carrying pests, we recommend staying on top of your tick prevention.
Talk to your Parker & Ace vet team about tick prevention today.