Do you live in a region where ticks are common? Does your dog spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in overgrown areas? Are you concerned she might have a tick? Ticks are unfortunately common on dogs, and even though they aren’t all dangerous, they are all uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with.
Common Signs of Dog Ticks in Wilmington, DE
Below, you’ll find some information that can help you determine whether or not your dog might have a tick. If you find a tick on your pet, you’ll need to carefully remove it as quickly as possible to prevent infection, so read on to find out more.
6 common signs of dog ticks include, but may not be limited to:
Bumps and Lumps
Bumps and lumps are the most common methods of recognizing ticks on dogs. If you feel a small bump on your dog’s skin underneath her fur, there’s a chance it could be a tick, especially if she’s been outside a lot lately.
Look closely at any bumps or lumps you notice on your dog. If you can see mouthparts, then you definitely have a tick on your hands. If not, you may need to take your pet to the veterinarian in Wilmington, DE to have the bump examined and diagnosed properly, as it could be something else.
If a tick is left buried up on a dog’s skin for too long, it will become engorged or swollen with blood from the dog. These swollen ticks are very large and easy to spot, even on dogs who have long hair. They are usually pale gray and look like something out of a horror movie.
If a tick has reached the point of engorgement on your dog, it has been there for a while. However, you can remove it much the same way as you remove any tick. Just be careful, and know that the tick could pop and ooze blood.
Pawing, Licking, and Chewing
Another common sign of dog ticks is your pet pawing, licking or chewing at the area infected with the tick. Ticks are irritating to the skin, so your dog will start pawing at the affected area quickly when she is dealing with a tick. If she can reach the area, she will probably also chew on it often and try to remove the tick herself.
Dogs in Wilmington will also lick or try to lick the location of ticks and tick bites frequently. If you notice your dog licking one spot on her body and ignoring the rest, she may have a tick. Check carefully, as frequent licking of the same spot can cause hot spots or lick granulomas.
The longer a tick remains buried on a dog’s body, the more likely it will be to cause itchiness. If your dog is scratching frequently but doesn’t show any signs of fleas, there’s a chance she could have a tick. Pay attention to the way your dog scratches and see if she is focusing on one spot that might be itchier than others.
Itchiness can be caused by other issues aside from just parasites. It is also a common sign associated with food allergies in dogs. If your dog’s itchiness isn’t related to fleas or ticks, consider trying her on a different food.
Head Shaking or Head Tilt
Another common sign of ticks on dogs is that your pet may be constantly shaking their head or may start having a head tilt. Dogs who have ticks buried up within their ears may develop a frequent head shaking or head tilting habit. If your dog is shaking her head a lot or keeps tilting her head to one side (other than infrequently when she is focused on something), this may be a sign she has a tick in her ear.
Dogs in Wilmington with large, floppy ears are much more likely to have ticks bury up inside their ears than others. However, any dog can potentially have a tick in her ear, so check your pet’s ears thoroughly after she’s been outside to remove any ticks before they have a chance to bury up.
Avoidance or Pain
Rarely, a tick may cause a lot of pain at the site of the bite. If this is the case, your dog may avoid you or want to avoid being touched or petted. She may also show signs of pain that let you know she’s dealing with a problem you can’t see under her fur.
Check the location your dog is guarding closely for any sign of a tick bite or any other potential issue.
What To Do If You Find a Tick on Your Dog
Now that you’ve had a chance to brush up on the signs of ticks in dogs, you can figure out whether or not your dog is dealing with a tick. If you do find a tick on your dog, remove it immediately by pulling it straight up (not at an angle) with clean tweezers. Then clean the location of the bite and apply some antibiotic cream.
Wilmington is an area with a high incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, so be sure to consistently administer tick preventative medication. Annual tick-borne disease testing is recommended for all dogs.
Call Wilmington Animal Hospital for Any Signs of Dog Ticks in Wilmington, DE
While having ticks may not be considered an emergency, at least right away, for your pet, they can still cause discomfort if not taken care of properly. Make sure you know the common signs of ticks on dogs so that way you can identify when your pet may be suffering from this and when to take them to the veterinarian.