Protecting Your Dog from Ticks
The Companion Animal Parasite Council predicted that Lyme disease cases would be higher than normal this year, particularly in northern California, New York State, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The disease is also branching out, becoming more prevalent in several states in the Midwest, a newer area for Lyme, the council said.
The council recommends year-round tick control and regular screenings for dogs.
However, tick control is not simple or straightforward. What’s important to note about Ollie’s case is the dog got seriously ill even though he wore a flea and tick collar around his neck, Hohenhaus says.
Not all collars are equally effective or capable of protecting your pet from any and all parasites, she says.
“You need to talk to you veterinarian and find a tick collar that’s good for ticks in your area,” she says. “Your veterinarian sees hundreds of dogs every week. They know which medicines are working in your area.”
Before you go on a trip, find out about ticks native to the area you’re planning to visit with your dog, Hohenhaus suggests.
Of course, your best friend can get bitten on her own turf. That’s why it is important to make the backyard inhospitable to parasites. Keep your yard mowed and the bushes trimmed back so they don’t encroach on your dog’s area, Hohenhaus says.
Checking and Double Checking Your Dog for Ticks
There’s no getting around it. Even if your dog is on flea and tick prevention and even if she’s had the Lyme vaccine, you still need to check for ticks.
Knowing how wily, pervasive, and dangerous ticks can be, Hohenhaus and Butler recommend thoroughly inspecting your pet after each outing. Hohenhaus suggests you start with the tummy and, while rubbing it, check your pet’s paws and go up each leg. Check the head, look down the back, and inspect the head a second time.
“Pet your dog all over,” says Butler. “Have a good cuddle session.”
A growth on the skin that hangs from the body by a piece of skin
Something around the anus
The study of cancer and tumors
The area between the abdomen and thighs; the inguinal area