Ticks On Dogs And How To Treat Them
Ticks can be surprisingly hard to spot on your pet until they get quite big, which is why it is important to check them regularly. It is best to remove ticks as soon as possible after they latch on to reduce the risk they will pass on a disease.
Spotting A Tick
When they first attach, a tick may be the size of a small pinhead but, as they suck blood, they can grow to the size of a match head and may look like a bluish-grey, pink or purple lump.
They look like little skin lumps but if you look closer, you should be able to see their legs. After they have been feeding, they can grow to around 1cm.
Ticks are more common in wooded and moorland areas, especially in long grass. If ticks are a problem where you live, try to avoid walking your dog in these areas and stick to paths.
Ticks often carry Lyme Disease which is a bacterial infection and can make your pet lethargic, have swollen joints, have a high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and drinking more water. To try and prevent your dog picking up these insects, check them regularly after walks especially around the head, ears and belly.
Various pieces of equipment are available for the removal of a tick but if unsure consult your vet as sometimes when removing the tick, the head can be left under the surface which will then cause infection.
It is possible to make up a “natural” repellent as follows:
- Cut a Lemon into quarters and place in a pint jar, cover with boiling water and leave to steep overnight.
- Strain the Lemon segments and decant the liquid into a spray bottle and spray the dog all over. Be sure to avoid the eyes whilst doing this but ensure areas like ears, head, base of the tail and under the “arm” pits and belly are well soaked.