April 21, 2024
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Handling Ticks as a Dog Owner in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has more ticks than you might assume. If you own a dog in Los Angeles, here are a few ways to effectively manage these ticks.

Although you may have heard of ticks as mostly a danger in wooded areas, the truth is that anywhere you can find grasses and trees, you can also find ticks which means that in Los Angeles, it’s possible to have to deal with ticks, both for yourself and your dog. Here are a few ways to manage ticks if you own a dog in Los Angeles.

How to identify common ticks

Los Angeles’s two most common ticks are the western black-legged tick and the Pacific Coast tick. The western black-legged tick is virtually identical to the deer tick to the naked eye. However, it is minimal, with a reddish color and eight legs. The Pacific Coast tick has a dark brown body with whitish-grey markings and is flat and oval.

The western black-legged tick can carry Lyme disease, and the Pacific Coast tick can carry many other diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and Colorado tick fever. Therefore, catching both ticks early on is essential to avoid tick-borne illnesses.

Tick myths to avoid

The biggest tick myths to know about revolve around how to remove ticks. It would be best never to use petroleum jelly to smother ticks or a match to burn the tick out. Both methods can cause unnecessary harm to your dog and not help you remove the tick.

Also, remember that tick-borne illnesses often arise months after a tick bite. So, just because your pet isn’t currently displaying symptoms of a tick-borne illness, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any tick bites to worry about.

Removing a tick

Removing ticks is simple and easy. First, take a clean pair of tweezers, then grasp the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Pull slowly, directly away from the skin, without twisting, until the tick releases from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick, as this can spread disease. Instead, flush it down the toilet or place it in rubbing alcohol to kill it.

Once you’ve removed the tick, remember to wash your hands, the tweezer, and the wound site with water and gentle soap. Doing this helps avoid the transmission of illness.

Avoiding tick-borne illnesses and diseases

The best way to avoid tick-borne illnesses is to check your dog for ticks anytime you come back inside after spending time outdoors. The longer a tick stays on your dog’s skin, the more likely it is to transmit an illness.

Investing in tick protection, including tick collars, medication, and topical treatments, is also essential. Finally, if you start noticing any symptoms of illness, including lethargy, refusal to eat, or rashes and sores, book an online virtual care appointment to consult with a veterinarian in Los Angeles, no matter how long it’s been since you last noticed a tick on your dog’s skin.

Ticks are a common pest.

Ticks are an unfortunately common pest all across the United States, including in Los Angeles, where the warm weather creates an excellent environment for ticks. If you own a dog in Los Angeles, you’ll almost certainly need to handle a tick at some point, and with these tips, you can make sure the tick doesn’t transmit diseases and harm you or your dog.

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