Ticks are known to transmit a number of serious illnesses which make them very dangerous to people and pets in Lakewood. Our vets are here to explain how these external parasites live and the signs to look out for, along with how to keep them away from your pets.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They do not fly or jump and so rely on hosts (usually, it's wild animals that are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property) for transportation. Once they are on your property, pets frequently 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 Lakewood?
The Rocky Mountain wood tick is the most common tick species found in Lakewood, followed by the American Dog Tick and the Brown Dog tick.
The Rocky Mountain wood tick can be distinguished by its bright reddish, teardrop-shaped body, and they prefer wooded habitats with low-growing vegetation. They are known to transmit Colorado Tick Fever to humans, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to humans, cats, and dogs. American Dog ticks are flat and oval in shape, and usually brown with whitish-gray markings, and live in grassy areas with low vegetation. The Brown Dog tick is harder to identify because they look different depending on the life stage they are in, but they do prefer to live in grass and bushes that surround many homes.
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, 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.