Ticks. Just the thought of them can gross people out. Unfortunately, they are a reality to be dealt with for pet owners. Fun fact: did you know they are arachnids? That’s probably part of why you don’t like them! These creepy crawlies come out at two main times of the year, the spring, and fall. They prefer cooler weather. Ticks can still be found in the summer months in heavily wooded areas though! Read on for information from a Lincoln, NE veterinarian to find out why ticks pose a threat to your pet’s health and why you should prevent them.
Ticks are one of those lovely animals that require blood meals. They aren’t too picky about who’s blood, so they come after any mammal they come across first. Once they’ve hitched a ride, they find a cozy, out of the way spot to attach with their mouthparts. Part of any blood meal involves an exchange of fluids, so just like when we drink from a glass or bottle, a little saliva washes back in. That tick saliva can carry lots of nasty diseases that cause us or our pets problems. It can take as little as 24-48 hours to transmit these (or faster if they are agitated!) Therefore, ticks should be removed properly as soon as they are found, or better yet, prevented in the first place.
For effective, quick tick removal, use a product like a tick scoop or fine tweezers. Always wear gloves to protect yourself from any potential disease transmission. Grab as close to the skin as possible and yank or use the tick scoop as directed. Take great care to not squeeze or squish the body of the tick as this can facilitate disease transmission. If you want to preserve the tick, you can kill it with rubbing alcohol and bring it to your Lincoln, NE veterinarian.
There are several diseases ticks can transmit and those change with geographical location. The main ones your Lincoln, NE veterinarian is concerned with are Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease. Symptoms for these diseases are all similar with fever, joint swelling/pain, lethargy, inappetence, and other nervous system issues. Treatment varies based on the disease and symptoms can take a few weeks to months to appear.
Talk to your Lincoln, NE veterinarian today to find the right method of tick prevention for your pet and help keep them safe!