It’s a Tick Explosion!
The ticks have found a great home as we have and seem to be multiplying as I type. And now they seem to have established a year long residence in Sea Ranch.
For that reason we make sure our dogs receive their tick and flea treatments before our arrival. We strongly recommend you do too!
Tick Party Time!
Samson, our Maltese managed to sneak out while we were at the house this summer through a door that was ajar. It wasn’t until I heard him yapping at the front door that I realized he was MIA. There he was as happy as ever to see how magically that door opens upon his beck and call.
AND HOW FREAKED OUT I WAS TO SEE HIS WHITE COAT DUSTY, DIRTY, AND WORSE OF ALL FILLED WITH A BODY FULL OF HITCH-HIKING TICKS!.😱
It was an all-hands on deck not only to hose off the construction dirt and meadow grass seeds. The double set of hands also helped to pluck out his newfound creepy crawly friends. Thank heavens he is a white dog and we had his fur clipped short!
The good news is the flea and tick treatment worked! They were all dead critters.
The bad news…at least for him… he’s to be kept in the kitchen now behind our dog gate. It is available for your use, too with prior arrangements.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the number of tick-borne diseases is increasing at a record pace while the geographic range of ticks continues to expand.
In fact, many reports in the news have announced that the tick population has climbed 15% this year! The result of this warning is which can cause chronic pain and swelling in dogs and in humans will be more prevalent. Ticks like wooded, tall grassy meadows, thick brush, and leafy areas where wildlife roam. Ticks increase their activity between April and September.
Be Prepared- Now!
Ticks “quest” or look for new hosts to feed on by climbing onto blades of grass and holding out their front pair of legs. We knew ahead of time that ticks were multiplying fast and more than ever before. For that reason, we took preventative measures to assure our pets are up to date on their flea and tick prevention medication. However, even with this caution, we always check our pets for hitch-hiking critters. This way we assure ticks are not on the dogs and will not be transferred to our furniture and carpets. We also know to check ourselves each and every time we come in from a walk along The Sea Ranch trails.
Lyme Disease and Ticks
Unfortunately, there are way too many who do not know to take extra care. In fact, a 2019 survey of nearly 2,000 residents of tick-ridden Connecticut and Maryland found that 69 percent of those polled never, rarely, or sometimes wore insect repellents, and 43 percent never, rarely, or sometimes conducted tick checks on themselves.
According to Alison Hinckley, an epidemiologist at the branch of bacterial diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns people to take proper precautions around ticks. This is especially important since “many of the tick-borne diseases are increasing, and Lyme disease is among them.” Equally important is to take proper precautions around ticks, since “many of the tick-borne diseases are increasing, and Lyme disease is among them.” In fact, a recent C.D.C. study from February estimated that the average number of people diagnosed with Lyme each year in the United States between 2010 and 2018 was 45 percent higher than those diagnosed between 2005 and 2010.
How often should you check for ticks?
Whether it’s a seasonal tick explosion or not, we recommend you check your dog for ticks each and every time you let it back into the house. We especially want you to check your dog while staying at Abalone Bay or any other vacation rental in The Sea Ranch.
When back at your home, we understand that’s not always possible. So if your dog or cat goes outside, at least check it daily. You can stretch the time between tick checks if your pet takes tick medication. Your yard maintenance also plays a critical role as I’ll explain below.
Again, timing is important for removing ticks to lower the risk of your pet getting a disease.
Areas of your dog you need to check for ticks
Ticks try to find areas of the skin that have folds where ticks can hide. When checking your dog for ticks, the CDC says to look behind and inside the ears, under the collar, under the tail, and between the toes. Also check around your pet’s eyelids, under the front legs, and between the back legs.
In case a tick is present on your pet but hasn’t yet latched on, it’s a safe practice to wear gloves when checking your dog for ticks. This is to prevent the tick from attaching itself to you instead.
We also used a white towel placed between us and our small white dog to better see if any are crawling over to us.
Luckily we found no ticks had buried themselves into Samson…or ourselves!
How to Take Ticks Off Your Dog
When you find a tick latched onto your dog you should not try to pry it off with your fingers. Instead, use fine-point tweezers” not flat-edged ones. The goal is to avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections to the area. Importantly, don’t twist the tick upon removal as that can leave behind a body for infection.
Five methods to never use for removing ticks and why
There are home remedies that you never should use on your pets — or even on yourself — when removing ticks. They never work on your dog or yourself.
- Never use a match or fire to try to get a tick to release itself. This can cause burn wounds on your pet’s skin.
- Soap and water won’t expel a tick. This is best used for cleaning the affected area after you’ve removed the tick.
- Alcohol. Save this for cleaning the area, not killing the tick.
- Never try to dig a tick out with a knife or other sharp object. Not only will this be painful for your pet, but it can potentially cause an infection if the object isn’t sterilized.
- Covering the tick in oil to “suffocate” simply doesn’t work. The goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible to keep it from transmitting disease — don’t wait for it to detach itself.
When to Take Your Dog to the Vet
When you remove a tick from your dog, save it for testing and identification. It’s best to keep it alive, if possible, according to the Lyme Disease Association, and to place it in an airtight container or zip-close bag.
As for your pet, most tick-borne diseases won’t show up until four to eight weeks after the tick bite. You can make a note of when you found the tick on your dog and keep an eye on symptoms. For instance, if your pet shows signs of malaise or can’t hold food down, it may be time to take it to the vet.
You should also monitor the area around the tick bite. If you notice hair loss, redness, or inflammation, that’s a sign of an abnormal bite. A veterinarian can assess the area and screen for tick-borne diseases.
How to keep ticks off your dog
Vaccines aren’t available for most tick-borne diseases that dogs can get, according to the CDC. That’s why it’s important to take preventative measures to keep ticks from burrowing into your pets.
We recommend you discuss with your vet what medication would be best for your pet. Below are various brands that you may wish to consider.
- Topical medications: Vectra 3D and .
- Chewable tablets — Simparica Trio ,
- Collar- Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention
And yes, you can give your dog both topical and oral treatments. Though, all medication methods say to consult your veterinarian before combining any treatments. “In highly endemic areas, sometimes we need to double up on protection,” explains Dr. Stephanie Liff of Pure Paws Veterinary Care. Treatments are most effective when you space them out.
Note that you should never use human products that repel ticks on animals.
Again as a reminder-always ask your veterinarian before using products on your pets.
Mow Your Yard to Help Mow Down Ticks
Ticks tend to linger in areas with tall grass and brush, waiting to grab onto their next meal by keeping the area low. For that reason, we keep the surrounding grasses at Abalone Bay mowed low to help keep ticks from being unwanted guests at our home. We recommend maintaining your yard by keeping your grass mowed too.
Leaving wide pathways and margins between your yard and house could help reduce your exposure to ticks, for both you and your furry friend.
If you live near a wooded area that’s harder to maintain. Pesticides labeled for ticks around that area may be a better bet. You can also separate your yard from the woods with mulch (this can prevent tall grasses from shooting up) or put up a fence to prevent your dog from bounding into tick-infested areas.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.