How To Notice Tick Bites on Dogs?

How To Notice Tick Bites on Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Ticks are just one of many nasty parasites that can infect our dogs and cause them harm. Spotting a tick bite on dogs can be tricky; these parasites are rather small, but their bite can pack a punch. They can carry different diseases, so it is vital to know how to remove them and even prevent them from ever getting on our dogs.

How to know your dog has a tick bite?

Finding a tick bite on your dog can be pretty worrying. It can seem as it is impossible to find these tiny parasites in your dog’s thick coat. However, if you know where and how to look, detecting a dog tick bite is possible.

How to detect a tick bite on dogs?

The first thing you should know is that ticks need a mild climate to survive. They cannot survive in a colder climate, so if you live in a cold area, you can be reasonably sure there are no ticks. However, if you live in warmer temperatures, there is a possibility ticks can attach to your dog.

The most essential thing all dog owners can do to check their dogs for tick bites is to run their fingers through their coats. There will be a small bump in the place of a dog tick bite on dogs. The small parasite will attach itself head-first in the dog’s skin where they can feed on the blood. If you run your fingers through your dog’s hair, you should feel the parasite’s body.

dog tick closeup

If you have a shorthaired, white dog, like Dogo Argentino, spotting a tick bite on your dog might be even easier. There is a clear contrast between the white hair and the tick’s black body. Spotting the bite on a dark-colored dog might be a bit harder. Dogs with darker colors might need additional inspection under clear light.

Spotting a dog tick bite on dogs with longer, thick, double coats could be problematic, so it is a good idea to know which parts of the dog ticks love. They will prefer less dense coat parts, the area around ears, eyes, limbs, and groin. They can also attach themselves to the dog’s neck, and if they have a thicker coat there, like Golden Retrievers do, spotting a tick bite might take a bit of time and patience. 

All dog owners should know how to get rid of parasites like fleas. Check out this article for more info - How to Get Rid of Fleas.

How dangerous is a dog tick bite?

An average tick will not do any severe damage to the dog. They will feed on the dog’s blood until they get full. The tick will detach itself after they are done feeding, and the bite wound will heal in a day.

The real problem is if the dog gets bitten by a tick that is carrying deadly diseases. There is some good news regarding dog tick bites - ticks will need at least a couple of feeding hours until they can transmit diseases. Make sure you remove the tick as soon as you spot them. The three most common tick-borne diseases in the United States are;

Lyme disease

Lyme disease in dogs is challenging to spot. It can take months for symptoms to develop. The Lyme disease symptoms are often mistaken for arthritis or other joint problems. Unfortunately, Lyme disease can be very dangerous, and if left untreated, can lead to kidney failure. Check out this article for more info - Lyme disease in dogs.

tick on paw

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a disease that can affect humans and dogs. It is caused by bacteria that live inside ticks. The tick will need at least 5 hours of feeding to transmit the disease, and if the symptoms are caught early, the dog can recover. If the treatment is postponed and the disease is allowed to develop, it can lead to organ failure.

Tick paralysis

Tick bites on dogs can cause tick paralysis. Only certain types of female ticks can cause it, and it can be spotted because the paralysis is slowly developing. First, the affected dog will lose its voice. Then their coordination will be slightly off, and the paralysis will start in their hind legs. It will begin moving through their body until complete paralysis happens. It is caused by neurotoxins some types of ticks contain in their saliva. As soon as the tick is removed, the dog will start to feel better.

For more information about removing ticks, check out this article - Ticks and how to remove them.

How to prevent tick bites on dogs?

Luckily, dog owners have plenty of weapons in their arsenal to fight tick bites. Different products can help us keep our dogs safe and their health intact. There are topical products that can be put on the dog’s coat, and they will effectively repel ticks for 30 or more days. There are flea and tick repelling collars, shampoos, and pills that can make your dog safe from these disease-carrying pests. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that their health remains as good as possible.

Check out this article for more info - Best flea and tick treatments

World Dog Finder team

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