It’s here! Dun dun dun dun! Tick season is in full swing. Most people consider spring to be tick time, but I always find fall to be especially bad. All the dead leaves on the ground make the perfect hiding spot for the little suckers. We’ve been pulling ticks off of our dogs like crazy.
One of the reasons they’re so abundant in NY is our huge deer population. Where there are deer, there are ticks. So don’t think your back yard is safe- if you’ve ever had a deer eat your begonias than your probably harboring ticks too. Every dog needs to be checked on a regular basis. You’re dog doesn’t need to go on a hike or even leave the yard to be at risk.
The good news is- the more often you check your dogs for ticks, the less likely your dog is to get sick from a bite. Once a tick has bitten, it takes 24-36 hours for it to transfer harmful pathogens. Ticks are another reason regular grooming should be part of your dogs care. When I dry a dog I get to see into their fur right down to their skin. I can see any red spots, irritations, or embedded ticks. Without our high velocity dryer it can be hard to see into certain, thicker coats (Especially on double coated dogs!).
When removing a tick, I find my fingers to be most effective. But some people, like Matt, find that both gross and impossible. If you are one of those people- a tweezer will do! Grab the tick as close to your dogs skin as you can get. Now Yank! Yank straight out. The goal is to get the head along with the body, and to cause as little pain as possible. I usually let my dogs smell the tick before flushing it, but again that’s optional!
If your dog seems more lethargic or arthritic than usual – ask your vet for a lymes test. It’s always worth it.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of lymes disease: