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Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Ticks spread a number of serious diseases threatening the health of people and pets throughout the US. Here, our North Boulder vets explain how these common parasites thrive, signs of illness to beware of, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.  

What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Because ticks can't fly or jump they 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?

Ticks are responsible for the spread of a number of serious diseases, making them dangerous to both people and pets. People can get serious conditions such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.

What ticks are common in North Boulder?

There are currently 27 species of ticks known to occur in Colorado. The majority of human encounters with ticks around the North Boulder area involve the Rocky Mountain wood tick.  Fortunately, tick species that cause serious diseases in other parts of the US are either rare (lone star tick) or completely absent from the Colorado (blacklegged tick).

Tick borne diseases that are seen in the North Boulder area include Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and relapsing fever.

How do I check my pet for ticks?

Even after a short walk through bush and grass, it's important to 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.

Ticks are most active in spring and early summer and are typically found in brushy areas along the edges of fields and woodlands or commonly traveled paths through grassy areas and shrublands. During tick season these sites should be avoided whenever possible, and always try to remain close to the center of walking paths to avoid brushing vegetation where ticks may be hiding.

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.

Do you think that your pet has ticks? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating many common tick borne illnesses and conditions in pets. Book an appointment at North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital today.

New Patients Are Welcome At Our North Boulder Animal Hospital

Book Online (970) 432-3874