If your a dog owner in Boise, Idaho,
this is a must read article about ticks and your dog!
Boise, Idaho has ticks that are commonly found near the river and around the Foothills. Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of an unlucky host animal, such as your canine companion. Ticks can be found at any time of the year, but in Boise, we usually see them in the spring and summer. Ticks commonly live in tall brush or grass, where they may attach to your dog who is out on a hike or any other outdoor adventure with you. These parasites usually prefer to stay close to the head, neck, feet and ear area of your dog however they can be found anywhere on your dog’s body. Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, all of which can cause serious complications and can even be potentially fatal without prompt and proper treatment or removal of the tick. This article will discuss how to prevent ticks, find ticks and remove a tick from your dog.
Where are ticks in our local area?
One of the first things you can do to protect your dog is to learn about the ticks in your area. Tick turfs in the Boise, Idaho area are along the Boise River, Foothills and can even be found in your own backyard. In Eagle, ID ticks are commonly found along the river. If you’re taking your furry friend for a day trip be aware that Horseshoe Bend, CJ Strike Reservoir, and the North Fork of the Boise River are areas where tick trouble can be found. It’s important to remember when you’re planning an outdoor adventure with your pet to be aware of heavily populated tick areas such as areas that are wooded, leafy or grassy. This way you’ll have a better understanding of the risks your dog is likely to encounter in his or her daily adventures.
How do I check my dog for ticks?
If your dog spends time outside in areas where ticks like to hang out, a tick check should be part of your daily routine. First, run your fingers slowly over our dog’s entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, check to see if a tick has burrowed there. Don’t limit your search to your dog’s torso: check between their toes, under armpits, the insides of ears, and around their face and chin.
Do you know what to do if you locate this parasite on your canine companion?
Step 1: Get your gear
• Pair of gloves
• Clean pair of tweezers or a commercial tick remover
• Isopropyl alcohol
Step 2: Remove the tick
Wear gloves while removing the tick to avoid contact with your skin (ticks can transmit diseases to people, too!)
If you’re using Tweezers:
a.) Grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible, but be gentle! Try not to pinch your dog’s skin.
b.) Be sure not to squeeze the tick! You don’t want the nasty insides of the tick to get pushed into your dogs blood stream through the ticks mouth!
c.) Pull outward in a straight, steady motion, making sure that you’ve removed the entire tick, since anything left behind could lead to an infection.
If you’re using a tick remover:
a.) Gently press the remover against your dog’s skin near the tick
b.) Slide the notch of the remover under the tick
c.) Continue sliding the remover until the tick is caught in the small end of the notch and is pulled free. (The tick will remain in the bowl of the remover.)
Step 3: Store the Evidence
Drop the tick into a small container that contains isopropyl alcohol (the alcohol will quickly kill the tick), and mark the date on the container. If your dog begins displaying symptoms of a tick-borne illness, your veterinarian may want to identify or test the tick.
Step 4: Praise your patient
Clean your dogs skin with antiseptic and make sure to clean your tweezers or tick remover with isopropyl alcohol. Wash your hands! Then give your furry patient a treat for being a trooper in the fight against ticks.
a.) Keep an eye on the area where the tick was to see if an infection surfaces. If the skin remains irritated or infected make sure make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
b.) Watch your dog for symptoms of tick-borne diseases. Some symptoms include arthritis or lameness that lasts for 3 to 4 days, reluctance to move, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and neurological problems.
a.) Apply 2 drops of Oregano essential oil diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil over the embedded tick. The high phenol content of this oil will force the tick to let go. Remove the entire tick and apply 1-2 drops Lavender over the area 3-5 times per day until irritation subsides.
When should you treat your furry family member with tick medications?
You might be wondering when you should treat your dog with tick products? The key to a successful tick control program lies in starting treatment at the beginning of tick season. There are many products available for tick control for dogs the most popular products for their effectiveness and ease of use are the topical or “spot-on” treatments (applied between the shoulder blades) and oral medications. Tick preventives also come in the form of dips, shampoos, collars and foggers or sprays.
Enjoy your Summer in Boise, Idaho!
This year’s mild winter in Boise means that ticks may be worse than usual so make sure you have properly protected your dog. If your unsure of which tick treatment best fits you and your furry family members needs contact your veterinarian to inquire on options and recommendations. And most importantly make sure your summer is full of river swims, mountain hikes, and furry cuddles with your tick free canine companion!