5 Signs Your Dog Has Ticks

Written by:

PetMD Editorial
Published: February 24, 2015

Ticks are troublesome parasites that can cause a variety of problems for your pet. But spotting these tiny bloodsuckers in a dog’s fur isn’t always easy.

It’s a good idea to use a year-round flea and tick preventative and check your dog for ticks on a regular basis. But even the most vigilant pet parents could be confronted with an unwelcome encounter with these pests.

Stay alert—if you notice any of these 5 signs, your dog might have ticks.

1. A Tick in Your Home

If you come across a tick on your bedding, carpets, or on the floor, you or your dog probably bought it in the house. Don’t brush off a single tick in your house as a one-off happening. Check your dog and do a closer examination.

2. Your Dog Has a Fever

Following a tick bite, a dog may exhibit signs of a mild or high-grade fever. This may only last 24 hours or continue for days or weeks. Signs of fever include weakness, loss of appetite, shivering and unusual panting.

While fevers can be a sign of many different sicknesses and symptoms, a dog with a fever should be looked over for ticks.

3. Unexplained Scabs

An embedded tick may cause a dog to excessively nip or lick at the bite site. If you notice this behavior or find scabs on your dog’s body, make sure to conduct a closer examination.

4. A Lot of Head Shaking

If you notice your dog constantly shaking his head, a tick may be burrowed in his ear canal. Ticks like to hide in warm, damp places and will crawl from the ground up to areas including a dog’s ears, groin or under his front legs.

If you see your pooch shaking his head more than normal, get out a flashlight and use it to look carefully in your dog’s ears for ticks.

5. You Feel a Small Bump

While it might seem like a no-brainer, feeling a bump on your dog while you’re petting him might be the firs telltale sign of a tick bite. If you do feel a bump, don’t ignore it. Part the dog’s fur to get a closer look.