How to Check for Ticks on Dogs

Ticks on dogs may cause several infections including Lyme disease, due to the bacteria present in the tick saliva. A tick must be removed as soon as possible, as the infection with the Lyme disease will may occur within 24 to 48 hours after the bite. Ticks are present in mountainous zones and woodlands, tall grass and bushy areas. Ticks may bite your dog and will remain under his skin. It is important to check for ticks on your pet, especially if you live in an area where ticks are frequent.

Diseases Transmitted by Ticks

Ticks may transmit several infections to dogs. Ticks are of several types depending on the region you are located in. The most common tick types may cause:

  • Lyme disease
  • Tick paralysis

If you fail to remove the ticks within 24 hours after the bite, your dog is likely to get infected with a tick disease.

Check for Ticks

Checking your dog for ticks must be done every time you come home from a trip or regularly if you live in a region where ticks are present. 

The ticks are visible and may be located under the skin of the dog. Look for black spots of the size of a small coffee bean. Typically, the female ticks are larger than the males. Gently palpate the skin of your dog and look closely. Remember to check in more hidden areas such as between the toes, behind the ears, under the tail or in the neck and collar area. Wear gloves, as ticks may transmit Lyme disease to humans also.

If you notice any ticks, you need to remove them.

Remove a Tick

Wear a pair of surgical gloves and get a sterilized pair of tweezers. Try pulling the tick out by grabbing on to the mouth. If you grab the tick by his body and accidentally squeeze it, it may release the toxins under your dog’s skin.

Try removing the entire tick; avoid direct contact of your skin with the tick.

Disinfect the bitten area with a disinfectant or a solution of hydrogen peroxide. Apply an antibiotic cream, to prevent infections. The bitten area will stay irritated for a few days and should heal; sometimes, the bite can leave a permanent mark.

You may keep the tick in a sealed jar to show it to your vet, in case your dog gets infected.

Check your dog for tick bites whenever you groom him and if you notice a tick under your dog’s skin, remove it immediately. Go to a vet to make sure your pet is not infected with Lyme disease or other tick infections. The typical signs of tick infection include elevated temperature, joint problems, lameness, lethargy and inflamed lymphatic nodes. Usually, tick season is between May and September, so you should be extra attentive to your dog’s skin during this season.

Get a flea and tick collar that may act as a repellent and protect your dog from bites.