Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Posted in cats, dogs

Our South Wilton vets know that ticks can spread a number of serious diseases to humans as well as cats and dogs. Here's what you can do to protect your pet, and your family, from these external parasites.

What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites that rely on hosts for transportation. Ticks feed on the blood of their hosts, including humans and animals.

Wild animals are commonly responsible for bringing ticks into your yard where our pets easily pick them up then bring them into our homes.

Are ticks dangerous?

Ticks are a danger because they spread a number of serious diseases to both people and pets. The tick's saliva contains germs and bacteria which can be transmitted to people, sometimes leading to Lyme disease or the alpha-gal allergy.

What do ticks look like?

There are 5 different types of ticks found in South Wilton. The most commonly found species include the brown dog tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick.

Brown Dog Tick. 

These ticks are a reddish-brown color and are approximately 1/8 of an inch in length if they haven't fed and up to a 1/2 inch in length if they are engorged.

The American Dog Tick

This tick is often found in parks, along wooded paths, and in farm pasture and tends to be most active in the spring, summer, and fall. These parasites are reddish-brown in color with white or yellow markings. The male ticks are about 1/8 of an inch in length while the females are somewhat larger and can grow up to a ½ inch in length once fed. 

Lone star ticks 

These ticks are about 1/8 of an inch in length and brown in color. Females are easy to identify thanks to the white spot in the middle of their backs. Lone star ticks are responsible for passing along the alpha-gal allergy which causes people to form an allergy to eating red meat.

How do I check my pet for ticks?

Whenever your pet has been walking through fields of long grass or wooded areas check for ticks. Examine deep in your pet's fur around the neck,  between the toes, inside the ears, and between the legs.

How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?

A range of methods are available for preventing and treating ticks on small pets and dogs. Options include oral medications, spot-on treatments, tick collars, and even bathing your pet with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients that kill ticks on contact.

Keep your lawn well-trimmed to help prevent ticks from making your yard their home. When there are fewer areas for ticks to live and breed, there are likely to be fewer ticks around.

You may also want to consider limiting the amount of time your dog spends outside at the height of tick season.

Tick prevention medications are part of our Wellness Plans. Find the Wellness Plan that is right for your pet.

Protect Your Pet & Family Against Ticks, South Wilton Vet

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