Where to check your dog for ticks

Spring is here and that means so are ticks. Ticks can be a nuisance to your pets, but occasionally they can cause bigger issues and that’s why you need to be diligent in checking for them.

Adult ticks lay eggs that fall to the ground and soon hatch into a larva or seed tick. They latch onto smaller rodents and grow into a nymph before it finally becoming an adult tick on the lookout for larger prey. They upgrade to larger animals like your dog by clinging to tall grass and waiting for them to pass by. Once the tick bites, they can hang onto the dog for over two days while they become engorged with blood.

Get yourself some latex gloves and arm yourself with tweezers or a tick remover tool. You want to avoid contact with ticks because they can transmit disease to human victims, too.

Ticks are very small and before they become engorged, they can be really difficult to find in your dog’s fur. For that reason, we recommend that you check their common hiding places regularly. Ticks are going to look for the warmest places to latch on, so start by looking inside your dog’s ears and near the eyes. Next, take a look under the collar which is a clever hiding place. Look deep between your dog’s toe pads and then finally check your dog’s private areas.

Use your removal tool to grasp the tick by the head, as close to the dog’s skin as possible without pinching. Pull the tick straight away from the skin with a firm tug. Try to avoid squeezing the tick and leaking fluids back onto your dog. Follow up any removal with antiseptic wipes or isopropyl alcohol.

The last thing you should do is monitor your dog for tick-borne illness. Look for symptoms of fever, loss of appetite, joint pain, or reluctance to move. If your dog develops any of these symptoms, they need an immediate visit to the vet’s office.

HydroDog is prepared to help you screen for ticks. During your dog’s bath, we massage the skin and look closely in all these possibly affected areas and others for ticks. If you’re at all shy of handling ticks, see us for a mobile grooming appointment where we’ll come to your home and take care of the issue. We’ll also step in with preventative actions by using flea and tick repellent products. Click here to see more about our services.

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