I was dreading researching and writing this blog post. I am terrified of ticks. Ticks on dogs can be very dangerous and sometimes ticks on dogs can be fatal.
Just the sheer look of them and I start feeling queasy. My throat starts to close up. And that’s just by looking at pictures on the computer.
I couldn’t imagine if I were to see one in real life, yet alone seeing one on Harley.
As you can see, Harley closes her eyes because it scares her.
But, as a responsible pet owner, it is my duty to protect Harley from these nasty little things. Since ticks on dogs are common in Australia, let’s go through what you need to know so that you are well prepared.
Let’s get started.
What are Ticks Anyway?
- Ticks are parasites that feed on blood as their source of a ‘meal’
- These parasites go through four life stages – egg, larva, nymph then adult
- They prefer warmer climates
- They like to live in dense bush, tall grass, dog beds
- Ticks are most prominent in the spring and summer seasons, more commonly known as ‘tick season’
- Paralysis ticks are dangerous as one bite from these little suckers can kill your pooch
3 Types of Ticks
- Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus)
- The Brown Tick (Rhipicephalus Sanguineus)
- The Bush Tick (Haemaphysalis Longicornis)
Ticks on dogs: Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus)
This type of tick is the most dangerous tick you dog can get. It will kill you furbaby if action is not taken immediately.
Signs of a Paralysis Tick
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Loud Breathing
- Non-Responsive Pupils
- Weakness In Back Legs
- Lack Of Coordination
- Dilated Pupils
Ticks on dogs: The Brown Tick (Rhipicephalus Sanguineus)
These live in more common places like backyard, dog beds and kennels. These can cause infestations on your dog. They are non-venomous but will cause your pooch to become very ill and will still need medical attention.
Ticks on dogs: The Bush Tick (Haemaphysalis Longicornis)
This type of tick is attracted to cattle more so than the common household pet, but they won’t say no to a free blood meal so you still need to beware of this type of tick.
Now all of this information is great; I know that I’ve learned a lot. But what happens if Harley or your fur-baby gets a tick?
Fingers crossed your dog will never get a tick, but I highly recommend purchasing a tick remover, it looks like tweezers, but it will make it easier to remove the tick.
Remove tick on dog immediately and search for more on your dog’s body. To remove the tick, place the tweezers as close to your dog’s skin and the ticks head, twist and remove ensure you remove the head and not just the body.
Mark the area of where the tick was found, so it is easy for the vet to check that all essence of the tick has been removed. Place the tick in a zip lock bag.
Take your dog to your vet immediately or if they are closed take them to a 24-hour vet emergency.
It’s a good idea to use tick prevention methods such as spot-on treatments or oral chews. Check with your vet on which one would be suitable for your fur-baby.
Harley uses Advantix monthly spot-on treatment, and in the summer months, I give it to her fortnightly as the warmer months are for common for ticks, so I don’t want to take the chance.
Lots of Love
Once your furbaby is in the clear, give lots of love and let them rest for a day especially if they were a little sick or needed to go to the vet.
It may have been a traumatic experience for you (I’m sure it would be for me) and your furbaby would be able to sense that something isn’t right.
So give lots of love and make them some homemade treats. I’ll give you a really easy recipe to make. They are natural dog treats with peanut butter and banana. All the ingredients will most likely be in your pantry right now, plus they are healthy for your furbaby.
Gina and Harley