Discover the 4 warning signs your pet has tick infestation: find out how to identify and prevent them
Ticks are commonly found around pets. While they may seem harmless, they aren’t. They attach themselves to your pet’s body and suck their blood and make pets uncomfortable. If left untreated, ticks can transmit a host of obnoxious diseases. We have highlighted warning signs of tick infestation to help your pet get rid of the nasty critters.
A Rotund Lump
- Ticks bury their mouths in the pet’s skin to feed on its blood. This leaves their dumpy bottoms poking out, thus resulting in a small, firm lump in the pet’s fur. However, similar-sized lumps can result due to benign skin nodules, warts, skin lesions, or scabs. In addition, if the attached tick has fallen off, it leaves a crater, which could be painful to touch.
Ticks can be removed at home with the help of specially designed-tick twisters or tweezers. Hold the tick around the base of its head and remove it with a twisted motion. It is better to consult with a vet if you are unsure what’s causing the lump.
Uncoordinated Wobbly Walk
- Ticks cause serious harm and should not be ignored. Tick venom can even lead to paralysis, affecting the hind limbs first and then gradually progressing to the front limbs. Head to your veterinarian right away if your pet seems uncoordinated.
- When a tick feeds on your pet’s blood, it inserts a neurotoxin into its bloodstream. This toxin gradually causes paralysis of the muscles. Paralysis ticks are the fatal tick species. They can kill a large dog with one bite.
Inability To Stand Or Walk
- Tick paralysis affects all limbs as it progresses, causing generalized weakness and making it difficult for pets to stand, sit, or walk. In addition, affected pets lay on their side all day long. This further compromises their breathing. If you notice any of these signs or if your pet is showing signs of paralysis, visit your vet immediately. Tick anti-venom, when administered early, is effective against ticks.
Fortunately, tick prevention is widely available and can successfully prevent ticks from feeding on your pet’s blood. In addition, tick prevention kills ticks before they get a chance to cause tick paralysis. Moreover, hand-searching your pet regularly can help you detect ticks. Thus, allowing you to remove ticks before they can cause illness. Be thorough while searching your pet. Focus on areas around the shoulders. Many ticks are found in this area because it is harder for pets to reach this area while grooming.
- Sometimes tick-affected dogs find it difficult to swallow their food. As a result, they are at a higher risk of aspiration, leading to pneumonia and other serious complications requiring immediate veterinary attention. In addition, tick venom weakens the respiratory muscles resulting in breathing issues.
Tips To Prevent Ticks On Your Pet
The risk of ticks can be minimized by adopting the following preventive measures.
Keep Your Lawn Clean
- Ticks live on shrubs, woodpiles, and tall grasses. They thrive well in moist and humid conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your lawn manicured and clean.
Keep Your Pet Groomed
- Encourage pet grooming and look for signs of ticks. If you suspect parasite activity, visit your vet.
Tick Prevention Program
- Go for a year-round flea and tick prevention program to eliminate the risk of ticks and fleas.
Schedule Regular Veterinary Visits
- Regular veterinary checkups allow your veterinarian to examine your pets for early signs of illness.
If your pet shows signs of ticks, consult a veterinarian immediately. At Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center, we provide urgent care to your pets. We have the experience and technology to handle all types of healthcare needs of your pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at 434-971-9800.