Ticks can spread a number of serious diseases, making them dangerous to both people and pets. In this post, our Modesto vets explain how these external parasites thrive, including which signs to beware of, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are common external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. These opportunistic parasites 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?
Since 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.
Which ticks can be found in Modesto?
The most common ticks found in California are the American dog tick, the Pacific Coast tick, the Brown dog tick, Wood Tick and the Western black legged tick.
Tick borne diseases found in pets and people in California include:
- Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis spread by the western black legged tick
- Rock Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia spread by the American dog tick
- Colorado Tick Fever spread by the wood tick.
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?
There are 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.