The Sunshine Coast is a truly wonderful place to live, but it is home to some creatures who are not particularly pleasant. It’s not just humans that have to worry about bugs and bites, but also your four-legged friends. One of the biggest issues for dogs in that regard is the tick. These nasty little insects can attach to the skin and cause some real damage. While you would generally be able to see them on your skin as they try to burrow in, the fur on your pet can give them a place to hide, and it’s not until your animal becomes really sick that you know there is an issue.
Ticks are most active from August through to February, but that doesn’t mean you should relax outside of that time, as they can cause damage year round. The females tend to be the most active and willing to do the most damage, but ticks of any size, shape, or gender can cause a problem for your dog. If you are someone that likes to walk their pet regularly, you should get in the habit of checking the fur after you get home. The area and the head and neck, as well as in the ears is where ticks tend to latch on to dogs, but it’s always a good idea to run your fingers through all of their fur when performing a tick inspection.
If you find one, assume that there are likely to be more, which means getting a little more thorough with your search. You can use a tick hook to extract them, and you need not worry about not getting the head out, too. Even if the head remains, the tick will die without releasing any more of the poison that can make your dog so sick. If the ticks have been there a while, you may in fact start to notice some changes in the behaviour of your animal.
The early signs of tick poisoning include changes to the sound your dog makes while barking. He may also seem a little unsteady on his back legs, and may even be vomiting several times per day, with the vomit almost frothy in appearance. As the poison continues into the system, you will find that it becomes more and more difficult for your dog to keep his balance. He may develop a cough that leads to further vomiting, and his breathing can become extremely laboured. When it reaches that level, you have a pet who is in serious need of emergency treatment.
The sooner you notice changes in the behaviour of your animal, the better chance he has of a full recovery. Tick treatment can be delivered in the form of a tick ant-serum at your local Sunshine Coast animal hospital, but you can help it from reaching that point by taking some preventative steps. There are some very effective tick treatments on the market that will help keep the little pests at bay, and you should always perform a routine inspection after he has been outside for any length of time.