Tick Season Preparedness: How to prevent and treat tick bites on dogs

Caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time and your dog can be bitten by dozens of ticks.


Types of ticks


Where to look for ticks


Because ticks are small and their bites don’t itch, they are easily overlooked — especially adult deer ticks and the nymphs of any species. Ticks prefer warm, moist conditions, so double-check under collars and around ears. If you aren’t sure what a lump or bump is, inspect it with a magnifying glass. Warts, similar skin growths, and nipples can feel like feeding ticks.


How to remove ticks on dogs

Be careful and cautious when removing a tick. Grasp it with tweezers firmly at the head, or as close to the dog’s skin as possible, and slowly pull straight back. Never twist, press, burn, or apply irritating substances like kerosene to an attached tick because doing so can cause the parasite to expel the contents of its digestive tract, creating an unwanted hypodermic effect.


Disinfecting the area

Keep in mind that any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit an infection to your dog or even you. Treat the area with three-percent hydrogen peroxide, the common disinfectant. It is recommended for tick bites because the oxygen it contains destroys the Lyme disease bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide can be liberally poured over bites on light-haired dogs (keep away from eyes and apply directly to skin!), but because it is bleach, this method is not recommended for black or dark-haired dogs. Using an eye dropper to apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the bite helps prevent unwanted bleaching.


Prevention is key

Make an appointment today to learn what is the right flea and tick prevention treatment for your dog. To learn more about which tick-borne disease have been confirmed in your neighborhood, visit the map over at dogsandticks.com along with a detailed look at each disease by us here at River Landings Animal Clinic.

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