Ticks can be responsible for spreading a number of serious diseases and are therefore a potential danger to people and pets. Our Brodheadsville vets explain how these external parasites thrive, including which signs to watch for, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that thrive off of the blood of animals and humans. They are unable to fly or jump and are therefore reliant on hosts (usually wild animals) for transportation. This is a common way for ticks to be brought onto your property, which is how pets can become hosts themselves and bring them into your home.
Are ticks dangerous?
Because ticks spread a number of serious diseases, they are dangerous to both people and pets. People can get serious conditions such as Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Brodheadsville?
The black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick) is one of the most common tick species found in Brodheadsville is the species responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in our state. Other common tick species include the lone star tick, American dog tick, groundhog tick, and brown dog tick.
The black-legged tick is found in wooded, bushy areas and both males and females have flat, oval bodies. Female deer ticks' bodies are about 1/8" in size and an orangish-brown color (with a reddish-brown colored midsection that becomes darker after feeding on a host); male deer ticks are roughly 1/16" and reddish-brown overall. They are longer than they are wide, and have sharply pointed, toothed mouthparts you can see clearly from above. Though tick exposure may occur year-round, they are most active during warmer months (April to September).
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Even after a short walk through bush and grass, check your dog carefully for ticks. Be sure to check deep within your pet's fur, behind and inside the ears, between the legs, around the neck and between the toes.
How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?
There are a number of options for getting rid of and preventing ticks on small pets and dogs. Your options include spot treatments, oral medications, tick collars, or even using a shampoo containing medicated ingredients to bathe your pet and kill ticks on contact. Speak with your vet to determine the right option for you and your pet.
To help keep ticks away from your yard, it's a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed. This will give ticks fewer areas to live and breed, reducing the risk of ticks being around. At the height of tick season, you'll also want to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.