Ticks are pesky parasites that can pose a serious health hazard for your furry friends. While you may practice flea and tick prevention, there is a chance your pets could get ticks even if you administer it correctly. Veterinarians often remind clients that dogs are especially vulnerable to ticks because they have to go outside every day, and they don’t groom themselves like cats. As such, all dog owners should review the signs that their best friend picked up a tick.
3 Signs Your Dog Has a Tick
1. Scabs or Craters
Once a tick embeds in the skin, it irritates the surrounding area. As a result, your dog may lick or pick at the site, which can cause scabbing. It’s wise to examine your dog closely if you notice any unexplained abrasions. Once the tick falls off, it can leave a crater behind, which will also cause irritation and may result in excessive licking, nipping, or scratching.
2. Irritated Ears
Ticks thrive in warm, damp places, like the ear canal. If your dog is constantly shaking his head or pawing at his ears, it could be a sign that a tick has burrowed somewhere inside the ear. Use a headlamp or flashlight to inspect the ear canal closely. If you don’t spot any apparent reason for the irritation, bring your dog a veterinarian for a thorough exam.
3. Difficulty Eating
When a tick latches onto a host, it releases toxins into the bloodstream. As these toxins accumulate in the body, they can affect motor function. This, in turn, can make it hard for your dog to pick up, chew, or swallow their food. If left untreated, this can cause serious complications, including malnutrition, aspiration, and pneumonia.
If you think your dog has a tick, turn to a veterinarian at Avon Animal Hospital. This practice was founded in 1965 and treats small animals throughout Livingston County, NY. From wellness exams and vaccinations to dental surgery and pet boarding, they do it all. To see what clients have to say about the care their veterinarians provide, visit their website. To make an appointment, call (585) 226-6144.