Ticks are capable of spreading a number of quite serious diseases and, therefore, are dangerous to both people and pets in the Rock Springs area. Here, our vets explain how these parasites thrive, what signs to look out for and how to keep ticks away from your pets.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of people and animals. They aren't able to fly or jump and so they rely on their hosts (usually wild animals) to be transported from place to place, including onto your property.
Once ticks on in your area, pets will frequently become hosts and bring these parasites into your home.
Are ticks dangerous?
Since ticks spread a number of serious diseases, they can be dangerous both to people and pets. People can also contract serious conditions like Lyme disease when the ticks' saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Rock Springs?
The Rocky Mountain wood tick is far and away the most common tick species found in Rock Springs and can carry a number of serious diseases that may cause serious health problems in both people and animals including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
Rocky Mountain wood ticks are brown in color and become grayish when engorged. Rocky Mountain wood ticks have an oval-shaped body that is somewhat flattened from top to bottom. Unengorged adult female wood ticks are about 1/8”, while male are about 1/16-1/4”. Engorged ticks are about 5/8” long and can be 1/2” wide. Larvae have 6 legs, while nymphs and adults have 8.
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.
In order to help keep ticks away from your home, it's a good idea to keep your property well-manicured. This will give ticks fewer areas to live and breed as well as reducing their risk of being around. At the height of k=tick season, you will also want to be able to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.