Ticks are creepy little crawlers with 8 legs and have to take a blood meal to be able to survive and reproduce. They wait in vegetation, such as high grasses, for a warm-blooded animal, such as you or your dog, to come by and then they grab on. Once on a dog, they crawl to a good spot, often around the head, and they insert their mouthparts into the skin. Your unsuspecting dog won’t feel this since the ticks are also secreting a local anesthetic to numb the site. Once the mouthparts are deeply embedded, the tick starts sucking up blood. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible since they can transmit serious disease organisms (e.g., Lyme, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). We’ve seen tick infections come from Arroyo Verde dog park, Camino Real dog park and other locations around Ventura and Ojai.
To remove a tick, our veterinarians recommend you use tweezers, forceps, or a specially designed tool such as the “Tick Twister” or “Ticked off.” Tick removal devices are lite weight to carry and are available at our clinic. You can also find tick removal devices at the Pet Barn and other Ventura pet stores. When extracting a tick, always grab the tick as close to the head as possible and then gently pull it STRAIGHT out with constant light tension. It is extremely important that the head and mouthparts be removed since they carry the disease organisms and any embedded parts can also cause a local inflammatory reaction or infection. If you are unsure of your technique or feel that the tick head may still be in place, you should contact our office for help and advice. Tick-borne disease can be deadly. For more information and visual aids, you can search “Ticks” in our Pet Info Library .
For tick prevention, there are multiple products available that can be administered to your dog: Nexgard monthly oral flea and tick preventative, Advantix topical flea and tick preventative, Preventic tick collars, and Frontline flea and tick preventative. Out of your tick preventative, no worries, compete our refill request form online.