Ticks can spread a number of serious diseases to pets and people. In this post, our Gillette vets explain how these external parasites thrive and how you can protect your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They do not fly or jump. Instead, they rely on hosts (usually wild animals) for transportation. Ticks can make their way onto your property through wild animals and can also be picked up while hiking or enjoying the outdoors in grassy or brushy areas.
Are ticks dangerous?
Because ticks spread a number of serious diseases, they are dangerous to both people and pets. People can get serious conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Gillette?
The brown dog tick is one of the most common tick species found in Wyoming. Luckily it doesn't typically bite humans, however, when they do, there is a risk of them spreading Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Brown dog ticks can also transmit diseases to dogs, such as Canine Ehrlichiosis or Canine Babesiosis.
Other ticks frequently found in Wyoming include the American dog tick, the groundhog tick, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. Though tick exposure may occur year-round, they are most active during warmer months (April to September).
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Even after a short walk through bush and grass, check your dog carefully for ticks. Be sure to check deep within your pet's fur, behind and inside the ears, between the legs, around the neck and between the toes.
How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?
You can use a number of different methods for getting rid of and preventing ticks on small pets and dogs. Your options include spot-on treatments, oral medications, tick collars, or even using a shampoo containing medicated ingredients to bathe your pet and kill ticks on contact. Speak with your vet to determine the right preventive option for you and your pet.
To help keep ticks away from your yard, it's a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed. This will give ticks fewer areas to live and breed, reducing the risk of ticks being around. At the height of tick season, you'll also want to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.
It is also a good idea to wear lighter-colored clothing and tuck your pant legs into your socks while hiking to prevent ticks from coming home on you and potentially biting you or your pet!
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.