Ticks are capable of spreading a number of serious diseases and therefore and dangerous to both people and pets. Here, our Rocklin vets explain how these external parasites can thrive, including what signs to look out for and how to keep these parasites away from your pets and your family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on animals and human blood. They aren't able to jump or fly to move themselves around, so they rely on the hosts almost entirely for their transportation. Once ticks are on your property, your pets will often become hosts themselves and bring these parasites into your home.
Are ticks dangerous?
Since ticks can spread a number of serious and dangerous diseases, they are threats to both pets and people. Humans can contract serious illnesses like Lyme disease when a tick's saliva—and all of the germs in it—makes its way into their bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Rocklin?
The Western black-legged tick (or Ixodes pacificus) is one of the most common tick species found in Rocklin and has the dubious distinction as being the species responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in California. It's joined by the lone star tick, American dog tick and brown dog tick.
The black-legged tick is found in wooded, brushy areas and both males and females have flat, oval bodies. While female deer ticks' bodies are about 1/8" in size and orangish-brown (with a reddish-brown colored abdomen that becomes darker after feeding on a host), male deer ticks are roughly 1/16" and reddish-brown overall. They are longer than they are wide, and have sharply pointed, toothed mouthparts you can see clearly from above. Though tick exposure may occur year-round, they are most active during warmer months (April to September).
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Even after a short walk through thick brush and grass, check your pet 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 your companion. 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.