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TICK CONTROL

Helping reduce the risk of Lyme disease in dogs.

REDUCE RISK THROUGH TICK CONTROL


Controlling ticks on your dog and in and around your home will help reduce the risk factors for canine Lyme disease. In areas where Lyme disease is prevalent, be vigilant about these procedures because any dog in a Lyme-endemic area is at high risk for Lyme disease, especially if she or he has not been vaccinated with a Lyme vaccine.

With dense hair and their love of exploring, as well as being lower to the ground than humans, dogs are the perfect target for ticks. In fact, dogs are more likely than humans to come in contact with ticks.

DO TICK CHECKS


Perform tick checks after your dog has been outside. Even if you have not been away from home, your dog is still going outside in the yard. In endemic areas, tick checks must be done daily, within a few hours after being outside. The Ixodes tick that carries Lyme disease is never larger than the size of an eraser on a No. 2 pencil, even after feeding. Ticks are very small, making them very hard to find during a tick check, which is why tick checks are seldom 100% effective. However, the slow transmission of the bacteria after the initial tick bite creates a window of opportunity for you to remove ticks before the disease is transmitted.

HOW TO REMOVE A TICK

Once you've found a tick on your pet, it's important to remove it as quickly as possible. Because ticks begin transmitting disease between 24-48 hours6, removing the tick early and completely can help avoid bigger problems. Don't rush the removal process. If not done properly, it is easy to break off part of the tick, leaving parts embedded in your dog's skin.

Follow these instructions for safe and proper tick removal, or take your dog to a veterinarian for assistance.

Before getting started, put on a pair of latex or rubber gloves to protect yourself from direct contact with the tick or bite area. This will help avoid possible injury or infection.

  1. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
  2. Pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.
  3. Clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water.
  4. Instead of disposing of the tick, you may want to keep the tick for veterinary testing in case your pet falls ill from the bite. The best option is to place the tick in a screw-top jar containing rubbing alcohol.

Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick. They can harm your dog and may cause an embedded tick to release infective fluids.

Once you remove the tick, disinfect the bite area with soap and warm water. Monitor the bite area for redness, inflammation, or warmth around the area. If these signs arise, take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination.

TREAT YOUR DOG

Sprays, dips, shampoos, and topical tick control products can help prevent ticks on dogs. Ask your veterinarian to recommend effective tick control for your dog. They can be part of the mix in preventing ticks on your dog.

CANINE RISK FACTORS


Learn the facts about how to assess risk by geography and exposure to deer ticks.


PREVENTION


Lyme Disease is largely preventable through tick control and vaccination. Get important details.


CASE STUDIES


Read about real dogs that were diagnosed with Lyme disease.