In the past week, we have removed 4 ticks from dogs here at the clinic. This year thus far, we have removed 7 or more ticks. Something all of these dogs had in common, was that none of them had been running through the woods.
Ticks are a part of the arachnid family. They cannot jump or fly, and are very passive little suckers. They hang on to blades of grass or other plants, reaching upward, just waiting for a host to brush by. Often times the dogs coming in with ticks are picking them up in their own backyard, underneath their deck, or just rustling around in the garden.
There are over 20 species of tick in Michigan, but the five most common include the American Dog Tick, the Black-Legged Tick(or Deer Tick), the Lone Star Tick, the Woodchuck Tick, and the Brown Dog Tick. While the Black-Legged Tick is the only local known for carrying Lyme Disease, the others are not without risk. The other species of tick listed may also carry diseases such as Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Hepatozoonosis, and Canine Babesiosis.
As much as we love to protect our little fur-babies, we can’t lock them all inside, and we can’t all live in a parking lot. If you find a tick on your dog or cat, let us know! We can help with removal, make sure your dog is vaccinated against Lyme Disease, and we can send you home with an appropriate flea and tick product to protect your pet. What you can do is make sure to give your pet a thorough check-over every time they come inside, paying close attention to the axillary/armpit area, legs, ears, and face. These are the most common parts of the body we find ticks.