Great Outdoors Month!

Great Outdoors Month!

During the summer season, pet owners spend a lot of time outside with their pets: jogging along paths; playing at the dog park and throwing Frisbee in the yard. Because ticks are most active in the summertime, it's time to review how to remove a dog tick and the signs of Lyme Disease in dogs and cats. 

Ticks like to hide in the fur of animals; and unless your dog has short hair, pet owners will probably not easily spot the tick. This is why grooming pets is so important for animal health. Check these tick hiding spots on dogs after outside playtime:

  • Between toes
  • In the groin area
  • Underneath dog collars/clothes
  • Elbows
  • Under the tail
  • In and around the ears

Dogs may begin acting differently after they have experienced a tick bite. If so, they may have Lyme Disease and should be taken to the local veterinarian for testing as soon. 

Here are the signs of Lyme Disease in dogs:

  • Loss of muscle movement
  • Difficulty eating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Unsteadiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart beat

While Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease, it isn't the only pet tick disease. Here are other common tick illnesses in pets:

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (mostly from American Dog Ticks)
  • Hepatazoonosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Bartonellosis

Removing a tick is easy but will require patience and calmness. Here is how to remove tick from the skin of both humans and pets:

  • Clean the infected area with rubbing alcohol or soap
  • Pull the tick straight up using tick prevention tools - not your hand! (do not twist the head or body)
  • Clean the infected area once more 
  • Take tick to doctor for identification
  • Ask for a Lyme Disease test

Keep these tips in mind this summer while outside hiking or walking dogs outside. And, follow the conversation on Facebook using hashtag #GreatOutdoorsMonth.