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Ticks on your animals

The other week our own dog Becks got a tick on your neck, so I thought I would share with you a bit more information about ticks.

  • Autumn is a major time for exposure to ticks. Falling temperatures in the autumn months can often cause ticks to seek warmer temperatures like your animals.

  • During the autumn months, removing all leaf and garden litter helps eliminate spots where ticks can live in the winter.

  • Keep the ground under bird feeders clean so as not to attract small animals that can carry ticks in the garden. Many ticks live in shady, moist areas at ground level, and awareness of their habitat can significantly reduce the likelihood of being bit.

  • Ticks will cling to tall grass, brush and shrubs, usually no more than 18-24 inches off the ground. They also live in lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woods and around old stonewalls.

  • Those lovely large piles of autumn leaves may present a lot of fun for dogs and children but they are also great hiding places for ticks. Keep leaves removed from areas dogs and people frequent. In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation.

  • Ticks carry diseases, so it’s important to remove any that attach themselves to your dog as soon as possible. Rapid removal lessens the risk of disease. This can be tricky, as you need to be careful not to squeeze the tick’s body, or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog. Squeezing a tick’s body can cause it to expel blood back into your dog, increasing the risk of infection. Twisting them off your dog is the best removal method, and pet shops sell handy tick-removal devices to make this easier. Ask your vet for advice.

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