Veterinary explains the best way to treat a tick infestation in dogs at home

Ticks are external parasites. They leech onto humans and animals, mainly dogs. They feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks cause a plethora of health problems such as anemia and inflammation. Along with that, they are carriers of multiple diseases such as Rocky Mountain fever, Lyme disease, Q fever, and ehrlichiosis, etc. 

Tick bites cause irritation and skin wounds. These wounds can become infected with other bacterial infections and screwworm infestations. In some cases, anemia from ticks can be so severe that it can ultimately lead to death.

If your dog has been infested with ticks, it requires immediate medical attention. Even a few ticks can lay thousands of eggs and the situation can worsen within days. Let us take a look at how to get rid of ticks that have infested your dog.

Home Treatment for Tick Prevention

  • The best way to treat a tick infestation is to prevent one from taking place. Thoroughly examine your dog whenever you come back from a walk in the woods. The most favorite place for ticks to settle in is between the toes, back of ears, groin, and armpits of a dog.

The average tick is quite small in size. Hence they appear as small black dots. When the ticks start feeding on their host’s blood, their bodies swell and they increase in size. Ticks latch firmly on the dog’s skin once they have become engorged with the host’s blood.  

To locate ticks, run your hands through the dog’s fur. If you find small lumps that cannot be brushed or pulled off, then you should know that they are ticks. Upon locating ticks, use a pair of tweezers to gently remove them. Take the following precautions when performing this minor surgery:

  • Wear surgical gloves. Handling ticks with bare hands can be dangerous as they transfer diseases. 
  • Do not crush a tick between your fingers as their blood carries diseases.
  • Place the ticks in rubbing alcohol for killing them. Flushing them down the toilet or the sink won’t do the trick. 
  • If a tick has already burrowed its head in the dog’s skin, then it can be a little tricky to remove it. Take a pair of tweezers and carefully grab its head using the tweezers. Try to pull the tick straight outwards. 
  • If the head remains stuck in the dog’s body, then consult a vet.

Listed below are some measures that can help get rid of ticks in dogs.

Use Nematodes

  • One of the most effective ways of combating ticks is by infecting them with a parasite of their own. Nematodes are microscopic organisms that feed on ticks and other insects. To get rid of a budding tick infestation, spray nematodes in your yard and in your dog’s pen. 

Nematodes work by infecting the ticks and releasing a toxin that kills the ticks. The good thing is that this toxin remains in the soil for 6 months, so further infestation is also prevented.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • This substance is very effective in killing all sorts of small, land-based insects. Diatomaceous earth is composed of powdered skeletons of diatoms that have been preserved as fossils. Diatomaceous earth is not toxic, hence it is safe for use.

It works by drying out the exoskeletons of insects which eventually kills them. 

how to treat a tick infestation in dogs at home

Administration of Oral Medicines

  • To get rid of a tick infestation and to prevent future infestation, oral medicines work like a charm. Simparica Trio is one such medicine that has proven to be very beneficial in combating tick infestation in dogs. 

Try these remedies for a healthier and safer dog. This information has been brought to you by Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center located in Charlottesville, VA.