September is Annual Tick Awareness Month. Ticks are a dangerous threat to all dogs and cats. Understanding how to prevent and detect ticks can help to protect your pet!
What are ticks and what do they look like?
Ticks can vary in colour and size depending on the species. Ticks burrow into the skin and increase in size as they feed on blood. They carry dangerous and fatal diseases and toxins which they release into the blood stream as they feed. In Australia there are two major types of ticks; the Paralysis Tick and the Brown Tick. Paralysis ticks are generally more prevalent in the warmer months and are often found in long grass in urban areas, and the bushlands along the Australian east coast. Brown ticks are common in northern Australian and are often found living in dog kennels. There is also a variety of other ticks which can be found all around Australia.
Ticks can be a risk to your pet all year round. There are many tick preventative treatments available and it is important to find an appropriate formula for your pet. In addition to preventive treatments, it is also important that you are regularly checking your pet’s body for ticks – especially if you are living in or travelling to high risk areas for ticks. Be sure to protect your dog against ticks prior to travelling and when returning.
Checking for ticks
Ticks are commonly found on the head, neck and chest of dogs, although it is important to check your dogs’ entire body. Don’t forget to check in hidden areas including the around ears, under collar, between toes, under paws and tail. Combing through your dog’s fur can make this process easier, particularly if your dog has thick or curly fur.
My dog has a tick what do I do?
If you have found or suspect your dog has a tick it is vital that you consult with a vet immediately as your pet’s health can deteriorate very quickly. If the tick is small, hasn’t burrowed and you can remove the whole body, do so on the way to your veterinarian. If the tick is large and burrowed, we recommend a vet remove it to ensure the entire body of the tick is removed. If you try to remove a tick and the head stays attached to your pet, they can continue to be poisoned.
We always recommend swift veterinary advice and treatment.