If you believe your dog has ticks, there are several signs you will want to look for.  Fever is often brought on when a tick bite causes the dog’s body temperature to rise. This may become apparent if your dog starts to act more lethargic than normal.  Loss of appetite can be a clue that your dog is not feeling well.  Other symptoms that may occur are soreness in the limbs, and skin infections can become apparent as well.

Where could the ticks have come from?  Dogs can get ticks from being out in wooded or open areas where insects are abundant, as well as being in contact with another dog that is already infested with ticks.  Ticks have eight legs, and are usually light grey or brown in color.  They are external parasites that grow in size once the ticks begin to ingest blood.

To remove ticks, wear surgical gloves and use alcohol to stun the tick before you remove it.  Stunning the tick loosens the tick’s bite on your dog, because pulling the tick out without stunning it first may cause teeth to be left behind, which may cause a skin infection.  Only a small amount of alcohol is needed to be sprayed on the tick.  Also, be sure not to burst the tick’s body during removal, as its blood is poisonous.  During the removal process it’s best to place ticks into a half-full jar of alcohol.  This is a handy method because it kills the ticks, which can be easily flushed down the toilet later for disposal.  Be sure to keep at least one tick for your vet to examine, in case of infections and sickness in your dog.  Once all the ticks have been removed from your dog, it is best to apply an antiseptic, such as Betadine, to prevent possible infestions.  Any wounds should be small and heal quickly.

In regards to preventing ticks, there are several natural methods for counteracting a case of ticks.  Eucalyptus acts as a deodorizer and keeps ticks from wanting to attach to the dog. Another technique is lavender, which also repels ticks by smell.  Counteractive methods are a good idea if you are taking your dog on walks through tall grass during April through September.  Also, be sure to check your dog for ticks after walking in possible infested areas, or after being near dogs that might be infested.  A good place to check your dog for ticks after a walk is behind the ears and around the eyes, as those tend to be starting locations for tick problems.  With the right prevention, your dog can have a healthy summer and stay tick free.