Persistent Pests: Removing ticks from Dogs
Ticks are a common persistent pest that can affect most pets, specifically household pets such as dogs and cats. Ticks, along with other pests such as fleas, can be difficult to spot until they grow in size, so it's important to check your pets regularly. Below, we shine light on some of the tell-tale signs on how to spot if your dog is harbouring ticks and how best to remove them, as well as providing recommendations on how to prevent your dog from attracting ticks. But first, let’s run over exactly what ticks are and what to look out for.
Ticks are parasitic arachnids that are round in appearance, with a small head and a large, flat body. They can often vary in colour and size depending on how much blood they have taken from the pet they are living on. When a tick first attaches to your dog, it will most likely be the size of a pinhead and can easily be mistaken for a small lump or skin tag.
What is the difference between fleas and ticks?
To check your dog for ticks, simply run your hands over your dog’s body after walks, focussing specifically on the areas around a dog’s head, neck and ears. If you find a tick on your dog, there’s no need to worry. Below, we outline our step-by-step instructions on how best to remove ticks from dogs.
Step-by-step guide on removing ticks from your dog:
- Using a tick-twisting tool, such as the Rosewood Soft Protection Tick Remover or a pair of tweezers, slide under the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible
- Ensure the tick is firmly held inside the hook of the tool and twist
- Twist 2 or 3 times until you feel the tick loosen from your pet. Do not pull! - The tick will let go itself once you’ve twisted enough times
- Carefully lift the tool away once the tick has loosened, making sure it stays in the hook
- Make sure to dispose of the tick properly so that it can’t affect any other animal or human
- Once removed, clean the area of your dog's skin where the tick was and keep an eye out for any signs of potential illness from your dog. Aqueous Canine Disinfectant Wipes will help clean the wound and kill any existing bacteria that may still be present
If you’re unsure about removing your dog’s tick yourself, or if you have any further concerns about the wellbeing of your dog, we would always recommend reaching out to your vet for guidance.
How to treat and prevent dog ticks
You never know when your dog could contract ticks, therefore it's important to know the best ways to treat your dog if they do get them unexpectedly and to also be aware of how to prevent them in the future.
Dogs are likely to catch ticks after walks in the countryside or woodland areas, specifically in areas that are known to have more ticks. Ticks tend to harbour in areas of dense vegetation, such as woodland or long grass, which is why Direct4Pet would always recommend checking your pet after long walks. If you live close to these areas, or often frequent woodlands when walking your dog, it’s a good idea to use a medicinal treatment to help repel ticks to stop them attaching to your dog, or to kill them quickly once they attach.
Thankfully, here at Direct4Pet, we stock a range of products that are highly effective at killing ticks; such as collars, tablets and spot-on treatments. These treatments can not only kill ticks, but can also work before the tick has time to spread any potential diseases.
Spot on treatmentsFrontline plus flea & tick spot-on treatment
Frontline Plus not only kills both fleas and ticks. It helps to not only stop flea eggs from hatching and infesting your home but also reduces the risk of tick-borne disease transmission. To be used every 4 weeks for optimum flea and tick protection. Effective at killing ticks within 48 hours.
Fipnil plus spot-on
Fipnil Plus is a veterinary approved treatment for both ticks and fleas for large dogs weighing 20-40kg. A single dose of Fipnil Plus in its easy-to-use pipettes will kill ticks within 48 hours. It’s persistent acaricidal efficacy protects pets for up to 4 weeks against ticks.
Vibrac effipro spot-on
Vibrac’s award-winning ‘droplock’ technology makes application of Effipro simple. This spot-on treatment allows for precise application with no mess. Killing ticks within 48 hours and protecting them against reinfestation for up to 4 weeks.
TabletsAny prescribed antibiotic provided by your vet
If you’re unsure how to combat ticks with at home treatments, contact your vet for more advice. They will be able to assess your dog and provide an effective antibiotic to treat the tick infestation.Bravecto flea & tick infestation chewable tablets
Bravecto provides immediate and persistent tick killing activity for up to 12 weeks. The immediate onset of effect is within 12 hours of attachment for ticks. The chewable tablet form makes it easier for dogs to accept, however it can also be given with food if not taken voluntarily.
Seresto flea & tick collar
The Seresto collar protects your dog for up to 8 months in a single application. It releases active ingredients at a slow and steady rate to kill fleas and ticks for up to 8 months. The pest control colour is water resistant, odour free and has a safety release mechanism. There is also no need to use a spot-on treatment in conjunction with this product.
Beaphar canishield collar
Beaphar Canishield is a polymer matrix collar containing the highly effective active ingredients used to provide long-lasting protection against ticks and other pests for up to 6 months. It’s best to use 1 week prior to your dog being possibly exposed to ticks for best results.
All of these products and more are available online at Direct4Pet to help prevent ticks and other pests such as fleas from harming your dog. If you’re unsure what products are the best for your dog it’s best to consult your vet about which is most suitable.
It’s important to use a treatment that is specifically made for your pet as some may contain chemicals that can be toxic to other pets.
Potential Diseases from untreated ticks
Ticks can bite and feed on your dog for a few days, until they have had enough and then they drop off on their own. During this time, it's possible the tick could give your pet a disease. One common disease your dog can develop from ticks is a bacterial infection called Lyme disease.
The common symptoms of Lyme disease to look out for in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen and painful joints
- Swollen lymph nodes
Lyme disease can easily be treated with antibiotics if you catch it early. If you suspect that your dog has Lyme disease, contact your vet who can then diagnose them properly and start treatment. In some cases, these symptoms can also be a result of other conditions, therefore it's important to get your vet to identify exactly what the cause is.
Frequently asked questions about Ticks
Can ticks jump?
No, unlike fleas, ticks do not fly or jump at any stage. They are mostly contracted from the animal brushing past grass or shrubs where the tick will then latch on to a host.
Can a tick bite become infected?
Yes, tick bites can become infected like any open skin wound. If you notice your dog scratching at an old tick bite this could be a sign of infection as tick bites aren’t typically itchy. Other signs of infection include redness and weeping or oozing around the wound.
However, this infection can be easily treated with over-the-counter solutions or antibiotic ointments provided by your vet. If the infection doesn't show signs of initial improvement be sure to speak to your vet for advice.
Can humans get ticks?
Yes, humans can get ticks too, so be careful when walking your dogs in long grass areas, make sure your arms and legs are covered properly. Wearing insect repellent is also an option if you live in an area where ticks are common. If you’re bitten, use a tick twisting tool to remove the tick, however if you’re still concerned, contact your GP.
Need more information about dog ticks?
If you’re still unsure about the best way to treat your dog or you need some more advice regarding dog ticks and the removal of ticks from dogs, simply visit our website, or contact our team of friendly pet experts at Direct4Pet for more information. E-mail us with any questions or concerns you have about your pet and we will be happy to help or point you in the best direction in terms of recommended tick treatments.