It’s almost spring. Time to be outdoors again. Your dog misses the dog park and other fun travel destinations. But with warm weather and more travel, your dog is likely to encounter parasites like fleas and ticks.
Ticks are small parasites that can cause a variety of big problems for your dog. Aside from their nasty habit of sucking your dog’s blood, ticks can carry disease and even cause anemia and paralysis. One of the best ways to avoid the hassles and hazards of a tick infestation is to use a topical preventative like K9 Advantix. It’s also a good idea to get to know ticks so you can learn to identify and avoid them.
Ticks often lurk in tall grass or thick vegetation, waiting to attach to a host. Heat and movement attract ticks, so your warm, active pup is in need of extra protection against them. Once a tick finds a host to feed on, it will attach itself and drink the host’s blood for a few hours to several days. Ticks can live for a few months and some even live for years. An adult female tick can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Ticks develop from eggs to larvae, nymphs then adults. Once out of the egg, ticks of any stage of life will attach to a host body. For this reason, ticks can range in size from the size of a pen point to the size of a bean.
To check your dog for ticks, feel over his body for bumps, especially around his ears, neck and other areas where the fur may be thinner. If you feel any bumps, part your pup’s fur and use a flashlight to see if you can identify a tick. Should you spot a tick, your veterinarian can assist you in removing it quickly and cleanly. Never squeeze a tick as doing so can cause bacteria and disease to be injected into your dog. Keep in mind that if your dog may be exposed to ticks, prevention and early detection are key to keeping your four-legged friend tick-free.