The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

‘Tis the Season for Tick Prevention

The best way to keep ticks off your dog is to take action BEFORE you find a tick.

Did you know?

  • Adult ticks are most common from late February to early April
  • Female ticks lay between 3,000-6,000 eggs in the summer which is why ticks are the most active during summer
  • Ticks tend to live in tall grass and woodland areas
  • Ticks can carry a number of diseases including Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis
  • From 1996-2012, there were over 17,000 cases of tick-borne diseases reported in Minnesota (12,935 of those cases were Lyme Disease)
  • Blood loss, anemia, tick paralysis, and skin irritation or infections are symptoms your pet may suffer from due to a tick bite

How to Check for Ticks

Check your dog frequently, especially after being by a grassy or woodsy area. First, run your fingers slowly over your dog’s entire body. Pay special attention to the head, neck, feet, and ears. If you feel a bump or swollen area, look to see if a tick is residing there. Remember to check between toes, under armpits, inside ears, and the face. Don’t limit your check to just your dog either! Check all family members and pets for ticks. A tick may enter your home on your dog’s back and jump onto another pet or human in the home.

How to Remove a Tick

  • Wear gloves
  • Treat area with rubbing alcohol
  • Remove tick with tweezers by grasping onto the tick and pull outward in a straight, steady motion (Make sure you remove the full tick)
  • Store the tick in a small container with isopropyl alcohol (this will kill the tick) and mark the date on the container (This is in case your veterinarian wants to identify or examine the tick)
  • Call your veterinarian
  • Reward your pet for being a trooper with a treat

Prevention

It only takes one bite for a tick to infect your dog, and there is no way of knowing if the tick is carrying a disease or not. You can reduce your pet’s exposure to ticks by removing leaves, clearing brush, and tall grass from your yard. When going for walks, you and your dog should stay in the center of the path. Don’t wander into the woods or grassy areas.

Don’t let your dog become a tick’s meal! Use a pet prevention product. A once-a-month topical like Frontline or K9 Advantix is highly recommended. You can also use sprays, dips, and shampoos. Also, to take extra caution with Lyme Disease, you may also want to consider getting your dog vaccinated. You should invest in a tick prevention product right away if your pet does not currently have any prevention products. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what product is right for your pet.

Caution: Do not use a dog tick prevention product for your cat. Have a separate product that is designed for cats!

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