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Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Because ticks can spread numerous serious diseases, they are dangerous to people and pets. Today, our vets in Gold Canyon explain how these external parasites thrive, including signs to beware of, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and family.  

What are ticks?

These external parasites consume the blood of animals and humans. They rely on hosts (typically wild animals that are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property) for transportation, since they do not fly or jump. Once they are on your property, pets often become hosts and unwittingly bring parasites into your home.

Are ticks dangerous?

Because ticks spread a number of serious diseases, they are dangerous to both people and pets. People can get serious conditions such as Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.

What do ticks look like in Gold Canyon?

The Brown Dog Tick is the most common tick species found in Gold Canyon and across Arizona. Larvae are light-colored, have six legs and are about the size of a pinhead, making them easy to miss. In nymph and adult stages, the tick has eight legs and is reddish brown in color. It has no distinct light or dark markings on its back and its body is elongated with a small head. 

Before they feed, adult females are between 3 to 6 mm in length while males are slightly smaller. After feeding on blood, adult females can be as long as 12 mm and change to olive-colored or gray. 

The tick drives epidemics of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Arizona and northwest Mexico. The deer tick or black-legged tick is not found in Arizona, and while Western black-legged ticks are located in Arizona, they are not widespread. 

How do I check my pet for ticks?

Even after a short walk through bush and grass, check your dog carefully for ticks. Be sure to check deep within your pet's fur, behind and inside the ears, between the legs, around the neck and between the toes. 

How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?

You can use a number of different methods for getting rid of and preventing ticks on small pets and dogs. Your options include spot-on treatments, oral medications, tick collars, or even using a shampoo containing medicated ingredients to bathe your pet and kill ticks on contact. Speak with your vet to determine the right option for you and your pet.

To help keep ticks away from your yard, it's a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed. This will give ticks fewer areas to live and breed, reducing the risk of ticks being around. At the height of tick season, you'll also want to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.

Do you suspect your pet has ticks? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating many common illnesses and conditions. Book an appointment at Companion Pet Clinic of Arizona today.

New Patients Welcome

Companion Pet Clinic of Arizona is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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