Ticks can spread many serious diseases and are therefore dangerous to both people and pets. Here, our vets in Fremont explain how these external parasites thrive, including which signs to keep in mind and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
These external parasites consume the blood of animals and humans. While they do not fly or jump, they rely on hosts (typically, it's wild animals that are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property) for transportation. Once they enter your property, pets often become hosts and the parasites are then brought 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 Fremont?
The Western black-legged tick, which is also known as the deer tick, is one of the most common tick species found in California and is responsible for most cases of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis around the Fremont area. Also found in California are the Pacific Coast tick which can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, the American dog tick which transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, and the Brown dog tick which also spreads Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
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, parasite prevention products offered at our office, 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 yard, it's a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed. This will give ticks fewer areas to live and breed, reducing 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.