Before You Leave for Your Holiday
If you are travelling to a ‘tick area’ there are some steps to take a month prior to departure to help to ward off a tick attack. If you can’t do it a month out, definitely do it prior to departure.
- Have your dog’s hair cut to a short manageable length – preferably short enough to see the skin.
- Treat your dog specifically for ticks – This may very well be a separate treatment from your normal flea treatment. Start the tick prevention treatment for your dog a month prior to the holiday.
There are many options available – collars, spot treatments, tablets. You should be able to pop into your vet and purchase these products without a consultation, although you will need to know your dog’s weight. Continue to treat your dog for ticks every 2 weeks while you are in tick territory, during the tick season. These preventative measures will greatly assist in the prevention of a tick attack, but they do not come with a 100% guarantee. Paralysis ticks produce a toxin that they inject into their hosts while feeding, affecting the nerves where they join to the muscles and ultimately causing paralysis.
Symptoms of A Tick Attack
- Loss of coordination in the hind legs
- Changes in voice or bark
- Retching or vomiting
- Laboured breathing
- Progressive paralysis to the forelegs
Symptoms may not follow a gradual progression and some animals can die suddenly in the early stages of toxicity. There may be other symptoms not listed here. Regardless of any symptoms, check your dog daily while in tick territory – keep your eye on him/her.
How to Check for Ticks
Run your fingers across its skin, moving in the opposite direction to hair growth. Check carefully all over your dog, and don’t forget folds of skin, the tops of legs, in the ears, on the tail and around the belly. If you find a tick, remove it and continue checking your dog – there may be more than one. Ticks will generally be found forward of the front legs, particularly on the face, neck and ears, and in any areas that the dog cannot reach by biting or scratching themselves.
How to Remove A Tick
To remove a tick place a fine pair of forceps or tweezers under the mouthparts, as close to the skin of the dog as possible and lever the tick off. Try not to squeeze. Special tick removal hooks can be effective and purchased at your local vet or pet shop. It is a myth that the head of the tick must be removed or it will keep injecting poison into the dog. Ticks have no heads, just mouthparts.
- Always follow instructions and read labels carefully.
- Rocky’s K9 Rescue is not a veterinary practise and does not offer veterinary advice. For more the most accurate and up-to-date information, check with your vet.