Dog Lovers Beware! Mans Best Friend is Under Attack!

It has been estimated that there are 899 species of ticks in the world, of which over 90 make their home in the continental United States.  According to the California Department of Health, around 47 species have been identified here but only 15 of these are likely to be encountered by your dog. The most notable of these include the Western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), the American dog tick also known as the wood tick, (Dermacentor variabilis), and Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

THE WESTERN BLACK LEGGED TICK (Ixodes Pacificus)

westerns-black-legged-tickThe Western black legged tick is a three-host tick that primarily feeds on lizards and small rodents during its early life stages, and large mammals, commonly deer, dogs (canids), horses, and humans, as adults. It is the prime vector of the Lyme disease and the equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis rickettsia in California. In California, it seems to be limited to the coastal and Sierra foothill ranges. Humans bitten by these ticks may notice intense inflammation at the site of the bite. These slow healing sores do not necessarily indicate disease transmission by the tick (the Lyme disease “bulls eye” rash), but are mostly a result of irritation caused by tick saliva injected into the bite site that facilitates blood flow.

the AMERICAN DOG TICK (Dermacentor variabilis),

 The American dog tick or wood tick is a three-host tick that feeds on rodents and lagomorphs (hares, rabbits and pikas) during its immature life stages, and large mammals, american-dog-tickmostly canids (dogs, wolfs, coyotes, foxes) and humans, as adults. It is the most important vector of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever rickettsia and is also able to transmit the bacteria which causes tularemia (hunter’s disease). It has also been found responsible for tick paralysis. This tick is widespread throughout the U.S. as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In California, it is mostly found along the coastal areas along the length of the state.

THE BROWN DOG TICK (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

brown-dog-tickThe brown dog tick also known as the kennel tick, is unique in that it can complete its entire life cycle indoors.  As a result, it is more of a domestic pest (occurring in and around structures) than other tick species.  Other ticks can be brought indoors, but they are not able to build populations and infest structures like the brown dog tick.  Because it is primarily an indoor parasite of the ever-present domestic dog, it is the most widespread tick in the world.  It is usually introduced into a structure ondog-on-dog-house an untreated dog that originated from or visited an infested location. All life stages of the brown dog tick prefer to feed on dogs.  Each stage drops off the host after feeding to molt into the next stage or to lay eggs.  Because of this behavior, most of a brown dog tick’s life is spent in the environment, not on a dog.  Engorged larvae, nymphs and adult females drop and search for protected cracks and crevices in which to molt or lay eggs.  Where dogs stay during the night is where the most brown dog ticks are likely to be., whether indoors or outdoors.  Under the right conditions, brown dog ticks will infest outdoor dog houses, kennels and runs.

Conditions Associated with Ticks in Dogs include:

  • Blood loss
  • Anemia
  • Tick paralysis
  • Skin irritation or infection
  • Disease

 

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

What you need to know:

For pets: •   Consult your veterinarian about over-the-counter, anti-tick products for pets •   Consider a Lyme disease vaccination for how-to-safely-remove-a-tickdogs at risk of blacklegged tick bites •   Keep dogs confined to yards or homes and don’t allow them to roam freely •   Keep dogs on leashes during walks, and inspect them for ticks afterwards.

Habitat moweed-gardendification: Keep yards mowed and do not allow brush or leaf litter to accumulate. Remove brush, tall weeds and grass to eliminate rodent and other small mammal habitats, which serve as hosts for ticks. Larger mammals (e.g. deer) can be excluded from an area with fencing.

For humans: •   Apply a tick repellent according to manufacturer spraying-kids-for-ticksinstructions    •   Repellents with DEET formulations of at least 25 percent are needed to repel ticks •   Wear long-sleeved shirts (tucked into pants) and long pants (tucked into socks) •   Avoid tall grass and weedy areas •   Bathe immediately after coming indoors to find and remove any ticks •   Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror  •   Remove ticks right away. For tips, visit the CDC website. •   After coming indoors, put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks

Knowing how to remove a tick is very important.  remove-tick-from-dogs-earYes, there is a right way and if you follow this link you will see just how it’s done. https://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/how-to-remove-a-tick-from-dog-cat

 

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