During the tick season, don't take your dog walking in bush areas known to harbour ticks. Keep lawns and shrubs short and remove compost material from backyards.
B) SEARCH PETS EVERY DAY FOR TICKS
The most essential preventative measure is a thorough search of your dog's skin and coat at least once a day even if tick control products have been applied. This method gives you the best chance of finding a tick before serious tick paralysis occurs.
BE SYSTEMATIC WITH YOUR SEARCH
Use the fingertips to feel through your dog's coat. Ticks or tick craters can be felt as lumps on the skin surface.
- Start at your dog's nose and slowly examine the face, ears, lips and eyes. Most ticks are found forward of the front legs, especially on the face, neck and ears. However, be careful to also check skin folds around the lips and ears.
- Search around the eyes and on top of the forehead carefully before checking the neck.
- Remove collar and search through the skin folds in the neck. Continue down the shoulders to the forelegs, remembering to check between the toes and under the armpits. Examine the chest, back, belly, around the tail and anus, and the back legs.
- If you find a tick, remove it and don't forget to search for more. Some dogs can be infested with many ticks at one time.
C) REMOVE TICKS
As soon as a paralysis tick is found it should be removed. Quickly remove the tick without squeezing the engorged abdomen. Your veterinarian can do this or show you the best method. A special hook or tweezers may be useful
D) PREVENTATIVES FOR PARALYSIS TICK CONTROL
In addition to daily searching, application of products specifically intended for tick control can greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis for your pet. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
Two products which are widely used for flea control also have good activity against ticks. These are FRONTLINE PLUS and FRONTLINE SPRAY.
FRONTLINE PLUS is for tick control in dogs and should be used every two weeks.
FRONTLINE SPRAY is for use in dogs or cats and should be used every three weeks. The spray should be applied over the whole body but take special care to rub some around the head, neck and legs using rubber gloves.
While FRONTLINE will greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis, use of the product does not guarantee prevention of all cases of tick paralysis because ticks are not killed immediately after contact. It is therefore essential that you continue to search your dog daily after FRONTLINE applications. If ticks are found during this search, they should be removed immediately.