Ticks are able to spread a number of serious diseases and, because of this, are dangerous to both people and pets. Here, our Palmdale vets will explain how these external parasite thrive, including what to look out for and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are an external parasite which feeds on the blood of animals and humans. They don't jump or fly and so, they rely on wild animals as hosts to bring them onto your property. Once they are on your property,. ticks will often latch on to your pet, who will bring these parasites into your home.
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 Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Palmdale?
Western blacklegged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) is one of the most common species of ticks found in Palmdale and bears the distinction of being responsible for most of the cases of Lyme disease in California. It's joined by the groundhog tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick and the American dog tick.
The western blacklegged tick is found in wooded, brushy 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 tick exposure may occur year-round, they are most active during warmer months.
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 option for you and your pet.
To help keep ticks away from your property, it's generally a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed. This will provide ticks with less of an area to live and breed reducing the risks of ticks living around your house. At the height of tick season, you will need to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.