Are Bloodsuckers Hitching a Ride on Your Hound!

Your Complete Lowdown on Dog Ticks 

Ticks are really nasty. They can cause your furry friend to suffer from a wide range of health issues some of which are serious. We want to give you the complete lowdown on ticks here so that you can protect your pooch from these bloodsuckers. 

What are Ticks? 

Many people think that ticks and fleas are the same but they are different. Ticks are arachnids and fleas are insects. They are not from the same family. They are both parasites though and love nothing more than getting their next meal from your beloved pet! 

Ticks are most active from March to October, but as we get out and about more with our four-legged friends in the summer months, we tend to see more issues arise during that period.  

As ticks are at risk of drying out, they prefer moist and humid environments and live in grass, bushes, shrubs and foliage. Ticks will rest on the tips of grasses and shrubs, waiting for a host. When a host brushes past, the tick will climb onto them and attach themselves quickly. 

What do ticks look like? 

Many people, especially new first-time dog owners, often mistake a tick on a dog’s skin for a simple skin tag or mole… but they soon learn! 

There are different species of ticks and if you believe that your furry friend has them you need to identify what species they are so you can understand the health risks that they pose. The anatomy of all ticks is similar but there are distinguishing features such as body size and coloration. Ticks vary in shape, colour and size but they have a flattened oval shaped body before feeding and a plump, rounded body once fed. 

When unfed, the creatures are the size of a sesame seed. They will then grow to the size of a coffee bean when engorged with their host’s blood. 

Different Types of Tick in the United States 

A fact that you need to face is that ticks are everywhere. There is no place to hide from them. In the United States there are five common species of ticks: 

1. The Brown Dog Tick – these are also known as “kennel ticks” and are everywhere in the US. They do not have to live on your pooch to live and populate which makes them harder to find and get rid of. 

2. The American Dog Tick – also known as “wood ticks” these tend to live in more humid places but can be found almost anywhere on the Eastern side of the country and in California. They have white specs on their backs. 

3. The Lone Star Tick – this tick has a white spot on its back hence the name. They like to live in wooded locations usually where there is a natural water source. Lone Star ticks usually reside in the Eastern part of the US.  

4. The Black Legged Tick – also known as “deer ticks” these are similar in appearance to Brown Dog Ticks. They have a uniform brown red coloring. 

5. The Gulf Coast Tick – as the name suggests these live in the Gulf Coast regions and some Atlantic coastal regions.  

What is the Risk? 

Not only will ticks suck on the blood of your furry friend but they can transmit some horrible diseases. Some of these diseases can even spread to humans. It is essential that you protect your pooch from ticks as they can cause all kinds of health issues from a skin rash to a life threatening disease. 

Here are some of the diseases that ticks can transmit to your dog: 

  • Lyme Disease 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Haemobartonellosis 
  • Babesiosis 
  • Tularemia 
  • Hepatozoonosis 
  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Fever 

Different tick species can cause different illnesses. Here is a breakdown by common species found in the United States: 

Brown Dog Tick  

  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Babesiosis 
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Haemobartonellosis
  • Hepatozoonosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 

American Dog Tick 

  • Cytauxzoonosis 
  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Tularemia 

Lone Star Tick 

  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Tularemia 

Black Legged Tick 

  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Lyme Disease 
  • Tick Paralysis 

Gulf Coast Tick 

  • Hepatozoonosis 

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