Dog Tick Bite Symptoms

A tick bite can cause tick diseases such as the lyme disease or the Rocky mountain spotted fever. Recognizing the tick bite and tick diseases symptoms is important to be able to administer suitable medication.

Symptoms of Tick Bites

The tick bite alone will not cause tick diseases; if you remove the tick within 4 to 6 hours after the bite, your dog is less likely to contract any tick diseases, as the tick will not infect the dog’s blood.

The tick bite can be visible; you can detect a dark colored tick under the dog’s skin. However, ticks may hide in less accessible places such as under the ear flaps or into the paws.

If you palpate the bite, you will feel a lump. If the dog is allergic to tick saliva, the bite may be red and more inflamed.

Some dogs may limp as a result of a tick bite, especially if the bite if on one of the limbs. Joint swelling may also be present.

The tick should be removed as soon as possible, to prevent lyme disease or other tick diseases.

Remove the Tick

The tick can be removed at home. However, make sure not to use your fingers, as you may crush the tick and this may release the toxins into the dog’s blood stream. Always wear gloves when handling the tick.

1. Disinfect the bite first, using alcohol.

2. Sterilize a pair of tweezers.

3. Get a hold of the tick and pull gently but firmly. Ideally, the tick’s body shouldn’t break, as this may cause the tick to release the toxins; however, if this happens you should visit the vet.

4. If the head of the tick remains under the dog’s skin, you should get a sterilized needle and remove the rest of the tick.

Even if you remove the tick, this may not guarantee that the dog is not infected with a tick disease, so you should consult a vet.

Symptoms of Tick Diseases

If the tick is not removed in a timely manner, it may transmit several diseases to your dog. The symptoms of these diseases may be subtle during the first few weeks after the infection. The dog may be more lethargic, have fever and may lack appetite. These symptoms alone may not prompt you to visit the vet. However, after 3 to 4 weeks, the dog will start displaying more serious symptoms. You may notice the followings:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Vomiting of bile (yellowish liquid)
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Discharges from the nose and eyes
  • Neurological symptoms such as confusion, sudden collapse, seizures, obsessive chewing and licking of paws and fur
  • Lameness and swelling of feet
  • Joint pain
  • Pale gums and mucous membranes
  • Liver and kidney problems in more advanced cases

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should get veterinary help. All tick diseases can be treated with antibiotics or other types of drugs that will detoxify the dog’s system.