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Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Ticks are external parasites that are responsible for spreading a range of serious illnesses that are dangerous to both humans and pets. Today, our Franklin vets talk about the ways ticks thrive, how to recognize them, and how you can protect your pets and loved ones.

What are ticks?

Ticks consume the blood of animals and humans to survive. They are external parasites that can't fly or jump, so they need hosts (normally, wild animals are the ones that bring ticks onto your property) to move around. When ticks are on your property, pets usually become their hosts and bring them into your home.

What makes ticks dangerous?

Because ticks spread numerous diseases that are very serious, they are a danger to the health of both pets and humans. People can get serious illnesses such as Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—enters the bloodstream.

What do ticks look like in Franklin?

The black-legged tick (also called the deer tick) is one of the tick species that are found most often in Franklin and has the reputation for being the species responsible for the most cases of Lyme disease in our state. It's joined by the lone star tick, American dog tick, groundhog tick, and brown dog tick.

The black-legged tick can be found in wooded, bushy areas and both males and females have flat, oval bodies. While female deer ticks' bodies are about 1/8" in size and orangish-brown (with a reddish-brown colored abdomen that becomes darker after feeding on a host), male deer ticks are roughly 1/16" and reddish-brown overall. They are longer than they are wide, and have sharply pointed, toothed mouthparts you can see clearly from above. Though you can be exposed to ticks all year, they are most active during warmer months (April to September).

How can I check my cat or dog for ticks?

Even after a short walk through grass and bush, carefully check your pet for ticks. Remember to look deep within their fur, behind and inside the ears, between the legs, around the neck, and between the toes. 

What is the best way to prevent or get rid of ticks?

There are many different methods you can use to prevent and get rid of ticks on cats and dogs. Your options include spot-on treatments, oral medications, tick collars, and a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients to bathe your pet in and kill ticks on contact. Ask your veterinarian to find out which option may be best for you and your furry friend.

To help keep ticks out of your yard, keep your lawn well-trimmed. This provides ticks with fewer areas to live and breed, lowering 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.

Contact our vets at Pet Vet in Franklin today if you believe your cat or dog has ticks.

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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