Tick Protection for Dogs and Cats
While mosquitoes are better known for transmitting diseases and being a major annoyance, ticks are becoming more and more of a problem throughout the country as well. And due to the rising tick population, tick-borne diseases are also more prevalent. Our animal hospital offers preventatives that protect dogs and cats against ticks in addition to mosquitoes, fleas, and intestinal parasites, so don’t hesitate to stock up to keep your pet safe. Below are tick protection and prevention tips for both your and your pets. If you have any questions, give us a call at (806) 792-8387.
Ticks You Can Find in Lubbock
In most cases, ticks are not a serious danger and will not transmit disease when they bite. However, there are several species of tick that can infect dogs, cats, and humans with harmful diseases.
- Brown dog tick
- American dog tick
- Lone Star tick
- Deer tick/blacklegged tick
The Most Common Tick-Borne Diseases
Reports of Lyme disease and other diseases are increasing here in Texas. Overall, the most common (and dangerous) tick-borne diseases include:
- Lyme disease: Lyme disease is caused by bacteria carried by the deer tick. Symptoms in pets include fever, lethargy, inflamed joints, and lameness. Humans that become infected can develop bull’s eye-type rashes on their skin, severe headache, fever, and fatigue. Lyme disease can be fatal if left untreated.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Undiagnosed, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be fatal for dogs and humans. It’s symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle or joint pain, and swelling of the face and/or legs.
- Ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis: Symptoms of these illnesses, which are caused by bacteria that ticks can carry, include fever, lethargy, vomiting, and weakness.
Preventing Tick Infestations and Tick Bites
- Your pet’s primary defense against ticks is their preventative. Make sure to administer their flea, tick, and heartworm prevention on a regular basis as directed. This is especially important for outdoor cats.
- If possible, avoid walking through low vegetation and heavily forested areas, where ticks are known to reside. Tall grasses are also great questing places for ticks. Stick to cleared pathways and keep the vegetation around your home trimmed back.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks will be easier to detect. Treat clothing in permethrin and wear a hat to cover your hair and ears. It is also helpful to tuck your shirt into your pants, and your pants into your socks.
- Use bug spray that contains DEET.
- Check yourself and your pet for ticks. Be thorough, because ticks are tiny and can get just about anywhere—even under your dog’s lip!
How to Remove a Tick on Your Dog or Cat
If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, don’t panic! Even if ticks can transmit disease, they often need at least 24 hours of feeding time to pass on the infection. Take a clean pair of tweezers and gently grip the tick as close to the skin as possible. Slowly pull back to ensure that the entire tick—head, mouth parts, and all—is safely removed from the skin. Wash the bite area with warm soapy water and rubbing alcohol.