I often get questions about ticks. Let’s take a quick look on what they are and how we can protect our dogs.

Ticks are very common to dogs and can be seen almost everywhere, from the streets, from your lawn, they might even be hiding under your couch even or under your bed. Ticks flourish in countries with warmer humid climates like the Philippines. Each year, hundreds of puppies and dogs become infected with deadly diseases that are linked and transmitted by a number these parasites.

Generally risks can be minimized with preventive topical medications, tick collars, etc. There have been cases that many dog parents don’t know that their furkids is suffering from a deadly tick disease until it’s too late.

Here is a list of  ticks and their associated disease in dogs:

Tick

Common Name

Tick-associated Disease(s)
in Dogs and Cats*

Amblyomma americanum Lone star tick Ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis
Anblyomma maculatum Gulf Coast tick Hepatozoonosis
Dermacentor variabilis American dog tick Ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, cytauxzoonosis, tick paralysis
Dermacentor andersoni Rocky Mountain wood tick Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, cytauxzoonosis, tick paralysis
Ixodes scapularis Eastern black-legged tick (deer tick) Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis
Ixodes pacificus Western black-legged tick Lyme disease, anaplasmosis
Rhipicephalus sanguineus Brown dog tick Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, hepatozoonosis, haemobartonellosis

 

Ticks have three pairs of limbs and then develop into four pairs as they reach adulthood. Ticks are crawlers and are classified as arachnids like spiders. They are not insects. Ticks are blind and deaf but have a sensory system called ‘Haller’s organ. They can detect odor, heat and humidity. Ticks will climb up tall grasses, posts, walls and use their sense to locate a potential host and crawl towards it.

Ticks have a long life span and can survive for months with no host. Ticks consume blood  and nothing but blood to survive.

For a quick look on the stages of  a tick life cycle check out the photo below.

tick_lifecycle

So what do you do if you have a tick infestation? I recently got a Facebook question which says:

fbquestion

There are a lot of way to solve this issue but here are a few suggestions. 

1. EVACUATE. Take your infected dogs out of the infected area. Outside your home in an open air or letting them stay with a relative or friend for the mean time until they are clear of infestation or your home is cleared.

2. SEARCH and DESTROY. Make sure to disinfect your home using anti tick detergents and spray. Look on the walls, underneath your carpet, everywhere, then manually place them in a container for later disposal. (Ticks can survive with no food for a very long time).

3. HOLD THE LINE. Bath your dogs and let the shampoo sit for a few minutes before washing, this often works but you have to manually look though your dogs fur for some stubborn parasites. Using powder and topical anti tick sprays will help stop further infestation. Please do not shave your dog as this is not necessary for some dog breeds.

4. RECONNAISSANCE. Keep an eye out for further ticks in your area and your dog. Repeat the process until the threat is eradicated.

Hope this helps.

 

 

Resources:

http://www.ah.novartis.com/images/cab/tick_lifecycle.gif

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2111&aid=603

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/insects-arachnids/tick.htm

http://blog.coghillcartooning.com

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