Ticks in Dogs – A Comprehensive Guide

You have certainly noticed that ticks have been an important and increasingly worrying subject in recent years. The reason? This parasite can transmit certain diseases to animals and humans. In the past, ticks were endemic only to our neighbors to the south, in the United States. Now we know that ticks are established in San Diego, and they are active when the outside temperature is above 4°C. They seem to prefer to hunt in the spring and fall when the temperatures are not too hot.

A site that lists ticks

A public map is populated by anyone who finds tick head stuck in dog. You can also, if you find any, send a photo of the bug to indicate their presence in the area.

What is a tick?

A tick is a small arthropod that has 8 legs. Some compare it with the spider for this reason. Has a small head and an abdomen that swells when it takes a meal from its host. Clings tightly to mammals by inserting the mouthparts of its head into the skin of its victim. It takes a blood meal there for 3 to 10 days, after which it drops to the ground. Depending on its level of engorgement, it may look like a skin tag or a wart. If you check closely, you will see its little paws.

What diseases can be transmitted by ticks?

Lyme disease (Borreliosis) caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted by the Ixodes scapularis tick (deer tick or black-legged tick). Lyme disease is by far the disease that concerns us the most in Quebec. As veterinarians, we also monitor Ehrlichiosis caused by the bacterium Erhlichia canis which is transmitted by the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus as well as Anaplasmosis caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilium which is transmitted by the tick Ixodes scapularis just like Lyme disease.

To learn more about Lyme disease in humans and our pets, see the MAPAQ website.

My pet has a tick, what should I do?

Avoid touching the tick with your hands. It is recommended to wear gloves to remove it. It is better to act quickly and not delay in removing the tick to reduce the possibility of disease transmission. Using fine tweezers, grasp the tick by its head closest to the animal’s skin. Avoid crushing his abdomen. Use gentle, steady pressure to pull it away from the animal. You can also use a specially designed tick hook. They are available from veterinary establishments and pharmacies. Inspect the skin to make sure the tick has been removed completely with the help of a tick remover for cats.

Take care to place it in an airtight container. A pot of pills will do just fine. It could be useful for identifying it or for further analysis of whether it is a carrier of a disease. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinary team for their advice. Recommendations may vary from region to region and situation to situation. You may also be offered a screening test to find out if your dog has been exposed to one of the diseases described above. Cats appear to be resistant to tick-borne diseases.

The procedures are therefore less extensive in this species. You may also be offered a screening test to find out if your dog has been exposed to one of the diseases described above. Cats appear to be resistant to tick-borne diseases. The procedures are therefore less extensive in this species. You may also be offered a screening test to find out if your dog has been exposed to one of the diseases described above. Cats appear to be resistant to tick-borne diseases. The procedures are therefore less extensive in this species.

What to do in prevention?

Avoid letting your animals roam in tall grass, near bushes or off trails when you are hiking. It is in these places that the tick patiently waits for its next meal. Since this may be easier said than done, an inspection of your pet’s coat is recommended after hiking in a risky area. Obviously, with their hair, this task can be difficult. Fortunately, in recent years, several veterinary products have been designed to kill or repel ticks. Consult your veterinary team to learn more about the different ways to protect your canine or feline companion.

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