Ticks spread a number of serious diseases, making them danger to Mecklenburg County pets and their people. Below, our Huntersville vets explain what to look for, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Ticks rely on hosts for transportation since they cannot fly or jump. Local wild animals are often responsible for bringing ticks public parks and backyards. Once ticks find their way into your backyard or onto your property it is easy for your pet to become this parasite's next host.
Are ticks dangerous?
Yes, ticks have a number of germs and bacteria in their saliva which can transmit serious diseases to people and pets, including Lyme disease.
What do Ticks look like in North Carolina?
There are six species of ticks found in North Carolina. The three most common ticks in this area are the lonestar tick, brown dog tick, and the American dog tick.
- The brown dog tick are reddish brown in color and approximately 1/8 of an inch in length if they haven't fed. These ticks can be up to a 1/2 inch in length when fed. The brown dog tick is most likely to inhabit warm environments.
- American dog ticks are reddish brown in color with white or yellow markings. Males are about 1/8 of an inch in length and females are somewhat larger. The American dog tick can grow up to a ½ inch in length once fed. These ticks are often found in farm pastures, along wooded paths and in parks.
- Lonestar ticks are most active from April through July, are brown in color and about 1/8 of an inch in length. Females are easily identifiable by the white spot in the middle of their backs. These ticks are best known for transmitting the alpha-gal allergy to humans.
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Whenever your dog walks through long grass or brush be sure to carefully check for ticks. Look deep in the fur around your dogs neck, between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs.
How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?
Oral medications, spot-on treatments, tick collars, and shampoos, are just some of the options available for treating and preventing ticks. Speak to your veterinarian to find out which tick prevention option is right for your pet.
Keeping your lawn trimmed, can also help reduce ticks in your yard. If there are fewer areas for ticks to live there will be fewer of them around your property and around your pet. You might also want to consider limiting the amount of time your pet spends outdoors during the height of tick season.
Tick Prevention is part of our annual Wellness Plans. Choose the Wellness Plan that's right for your pet.
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