Each season for the past few years, we have experienced progressively warmer weather. This weather makes the ideal conditions for ticks to thrive. Ticks love to crawl onto warm blooded mammals and feast, putting you and your dog at risk. Anyone with personal protection dogs will want to keep an eye on their canine to ensure they stay healthy.
Ticks are found in nearly every region of the United States. Each region has its own species that carry risks in the form of disease. If your protection dog has a tick, he could be in danger of contracting Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, erlichiosis or one of several other diseases harbored by ticks.
In addition to your protection dog being at risk from a tick bite, there are new diseases emerging that infect your dog when he accidentally eats a tick. Dogs sometimes chew ticks off their skin to stop the itching or eat a mammal with a tick infestation. American canine hepatozoonosis is a serious disease that causes lethargy, bloody diarrhea, excessive eye discharge and muscle stiffness and atrophy.
Ticks thrive in conditions that are humid and warm, but this does not mean that ticks are limited to these areas. They can be found everywhere in the country. You should familiarize yourself with species local to your area, so you are better able to identify them if you find one on your personal protection companion.
Your dog can aquire ticks any number of ways. Ticks are most commonly found in wooded areas, but they often migrate to tall grass around the edge of landscaped areas. If there is a chance of a meal on four legs walking by, a tick may be in that area.
Once ticks find a host, they seek a warm, moist area to feed. They peirce the flesh of their host to get to the blood below. The tick will then feed until it is full. Pathogens are generally not transmitted for up to 36 hours after they began feeding, so the sooner you can check your protection dog for for ticks the better.
Every time your dog has been in an area where he can pick up ticks, be sure to check him afterwards. For some, this could mean a daily inspection. Others may only need to check their dog once or twice a week. If you notice your dog consistently scratching in the same place, that is also a good time to check him for ticks.
Begin your tick check on your personal protection dogs by looking in the warm areas ticks love. Any part of your dogs body that produces more heat is a good place to look. The tail area, around the eyes, in his leg pits, and above his tail are all prime spots ticks gravitate towards. You will need to part the fur to get to the skin below. You can use your dog’s brush, a hair dryer on a low setting or your fingers to get a closer look.
Once you find a tick on your canine, you can remove it. The best way to remove a tick is with a pair of tweezers. Hold the fur away from the area with the tick and grasp its body with the tweezers. Holding the tweezer tips right against your protection dog’s skin, gently pull straight up. This will remove the head and body. Be sure to immediately disinfect the bite area by swabbing it with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
When you are done, flush the tick down the toilet. Avoid crushing or touching the tick. This could cause you to become contaminated if the tick is carrying a disease. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after any encounter with a tick. If you are worried the tick has been
burrowed into your protection dog for more than 36 hours, preserve the tick in alcohol so your vet can test it for pathogens.
The CDC cautions against believing the commonly held myths regarding ticks. Burning the tick, painting it with nail polish or applying dish soap do not help, and in some cases can be more harmful.
If you hold to the mantra that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you may want to know how to avoid getting ticks on your dog in the first place. There are many prevention products for your personal protection dogs for sale. They generally fall into two categories. Chemical prevention is very popular, but there are many downfalls. Some dogs are highly allergic, and the chemicals have been shown to be toxic in large doses. Natural prevention is gentle and safe for dogs and perfect for those who like to prepare their own products.
If you choose to give your dog a chemical tick prevention regimen, you should be aware of the potentially harmful side effects. You can find these products at your vet or local pet store. They usually come as a pill or a gel that is applied to the protection dog’s skin. The pesticides that makes up the main ingredients in these medications can cause vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures.
Natural products for your personal protection dogs for sale include collars, shampoos, sprays and powders. The worst side effect you can expect from these products are dry skin. They work by using herbs and oils to repel ticks.
For those with personal protection dogs who are more inclined to make their own tick prevention products, there are a variety of recipes and methods that work well. Adding garlic powder or apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food are two tasty tick repellents. After your protection dog has been groomed, you can brush his coat with food grade diatomaceous earth. This punctures the tick’s exoskeleton causing it to lose the moisture essential for living.
If you find a tick on your dog, there is no need to panic. Use these tips to remove the tick as soon as you can, and take steps to prevent others from getting on your dog. Prevention is the best way to ensure that you have a happy, healthy protection dog.