Why Eliminating Dog Ticks is Important to your Health

by HealthforLife

The tick seems like the homely little brother of the flea. After all, fleas can jump like champions, lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and infest a home.

Keeping You and Your Dog Healthy
Keeping You and Your Dog Healthy

In a certain sense, the tick seems like the homely little brother of the flea. After all, fleas can jump like champions, lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and their ability to infest a home is the stuff of legends. By comparison, the tick is a slow-moving creature with no ability to fly or jump. Instead of seeking its prey out, leaping from host to host like a flea, the tick has to climb up a stalk of grass and wait, hoping for its next hapless victim to simply wander by close enough that it can grab on.

Don't think the tick to be a frumpy, less exciting version of the flea. In fact, the tick is far more sinister than one might originally imagine. Unlike a flea, which is a lowly insect, the tick is an arachnid – a member of the same family as spiders and scorpions. Like spiders and scorpions, a tick is nothing to be trifled with.

Ticks and Diseases

Many varieties of ticks are not particularly picky about where they find their lunch. The deer tick, for example, is just as happy with a meal of blood from a human as from a deer or a dog. Unfortunately for human beings, this means that ticks frequently carry diseases that they picked up from wild or domesticated animals and that they can transfer these diseases to human hosts.

The most notorious of tick diseases is Lyme disease. Lyme disease begins with a tick bite, usually from a deer tick. However, although deer ticks are the most well-known of Lyme disease bearing ticks in the United States, the lone star tick and the black-legged tick are also known to transmit Lyme disease. Additionally, the European sheep and castor bean ticks carry Lyme disease, as well as the Chinese taiga tick. In other words, any corner of the world that is home to ticks is also home to Lyme disease.

Lyme disease initially presents a bull's eye patterned rash. After the rash come other symptoms, usually flu-like in nature. Over the long-term, chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms; arthritis, depression and neurological problems also can arise from the disease.

Other tick borne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), and TBRF (Tickborne Relapsing Fever). Each of these diseases can be very serious and many are life-threatening.

Ticks and Dogs

In preventing exposure to and bites from ticks, dog owners need to be particularly careful. The wood tick, one of the most common species of ticks in the United States, is also called the American dog tick. There's a good reason that the dog tick is called the dog tick – it likes to munch on dogs!

Protect Your family and Your Dog
Protect Your family and Your Dog

Your Dog Can Pass a Disease to You

That's a problem not just for the dogs; the American dog tick is known for transmitting Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis to humans. Besides the dog tick, dogs without any type of tick preventative, such as Frontline Plus for dogs, can also pick up deer ticks, lone star ticks, black-legged ticks, and a host of other tick species that transmit diseases to pets and pet owners.

Ticks can easily transfer their affections from the dogs in your household to the humans. A tick bite might be itchy but harmless; on the other hand, a tick bite might be the beginning of a dangerous illness.

Keep Your Dogs from Getting Ticks

K9 Advantix, Frontline, and other preventative pet meds will keep the ticks off your dog. Not only is this good for your dog's health, it's also good for your health. Remember that when you invest in medicine like K9 Advantix to prevent parasites from feeding on your dog, you're also protecting yourself and your whole family from those same pests.

Informational Video

How Ticks Transmit Disease to Your Dogs

Learn More About Ticks

Ticks are small arachnids in the order Ixodida. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acarina. Ticks are ectoparasites, living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are ...
Updated: 02/17/2012, HealthforLife
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