Guide to Dogs and Ticks – Part 1

tick-guide-for-dogs-1

Just thinking about ticks makes my skin crawl, ick! But as a pet parent, it’s important you know and understand how ticks can effect your dog’s health and how to keep your dog safe and healthy.

Yesterday we went on our first big hike of the spring. Three hours hiking bluffs and letting the dogs swim was a great way to spend the morning, until we got home and had to spend the next two hours plucking ticks off of them. So, I decided it’s time to share a Tick Guide for Dogs with our readers.

In Part 1 of our Dog Owner’s Guide to Ticks we’ll talk about why ticks pose a danger to dogs, the different types of ticks, and where ticks live. Part 2 will outline ways to protect your dog against ticks and Part 3 will explain what to do if you find ticks on your dog, including the proper way to remove a tick from a dog.

What are ticks and why are ticks dangerous to dogs

Ticks are small, bloodsucking anthropods and there are more than 800 species of ticks worldwide. For our purposes we’ll focus on the ones the ticks that most commonly effect dogs in the US.

Ticks carry disease-causing microbes that are transmitted through toxins, secretions, or organisms in the tick’s saliva and transmitted through a bite. Some of these diseases can be fatal to dogs and humans.

What types of ticks affect dogs and where are ticks found

1. American Dog Tick

american dog tick

Most Commonly Found: California, Eastern 2/3 of US

Predominant Habitat: grassy fields or areas with little to no tree cover, along trails

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis

2. Deer Tick (AKA Blacklegged Tick)

deer-tick

Most Commonly Found: Northeastern and Upper Midwestern States, Southeastern US

Predominant Habitat: deciduous forest

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Tick Paralysis

3. Lone Star Tick

deer-tick

Most Commonly Found: Eastern and Southeastern US

Predominant Habitat: woodlands with dense undergrowth

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis

4. Brown Dog Tick

brown-dog-tick

Most Commonly Found: Throughout US

Predominant Habitat: inside homes or dog kennels

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Hepatozoonosis, Haemobartonellosis

5. Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

brown-dog-tick

Most Commonly Found: Rocky Mountain States

Predominant Habitat: shrublands, lightly wooded areas, open grasslands, along trails

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Tick Paralysis

6. Gulf Coast Tick

brown-dog-tick

Most Commonly Found: Along Atlantic Coast of US and States on Gulf of Mexico

Predominant Habitat: grassland prairies, edges of woodland areas

Can Transmit the Following Diseases to Dogs: Hepatozoonosis

For more information about dogs and ticks visit these resources

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