Ticks can spread a number of serious diseases and are therefore dangerous to people and pets. In this post, our veterinarians explain what ticks look like in Hohenwald and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They do not fly or jump and so rely on hosts (usually, wild animals are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property) for transportation. Once they are on your property, pets frequently become hosts and the parasites are then brought 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 Hohenwald?
The black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick) is one of the most common tick species found in Hohenwald and has the dubious distinction of being the species responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in our state. It's joined by the brown dog tick, American dog tick, lone star tick, and gulf coast tick.
Besides Lyme disease, many species of ticks can transmit other illnesses to pets and humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Although the look of a tick can vary slightly by species, overall ticks have oval bodies, 8 legs, and sharply pointed, toothed mouthparts that can be seen from above. Ticks range in color from dark brown to reddish-orange. 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?
You can use a number of different methods for tick prevention on small pets and dogs. Your options include spot-on 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.