One of the frustrating things every dog owner is Nigeria battles is tick infestation, sometimes it seems like those tiny creatures just won’t go away (i guess they are called bugs for a reason). I have read that the tick population in a certain area is influenced by weather and climate, ticks actually thrive best in humid regions so it’s no wonder we struggle with getting rid of them in these parts.
We have to continuously ensure we keep ticks at bay as tick bites can be deadly and dangerous to dogs and humans alike; transmitting diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lymes diseases, and other illnesses.
Ways to Prevent & Control Ticks
- Physical Removal: When ticks mature, they attach themselves on dogs by burrowing their head into the skin. You need to physically examine your dog for ticks every now and then, check between his paws, inner ears and brush through his fur to see if you spot a tick.
If spotted, use tweezers to remove the tick (drop the tick into rubbing alcohol to kill it, do not squash between fingers), clean the area bitten using a disinfectant and wash up your hands after that. This should be followed by any other form of preventive measure.
- Powders: powders should be used with care during application. Be sure that the powder you are using is labelled for dogs before use, as well as for your dog’s specific age. Also, make sure you check the label to make sure that the product is designed to kill ticks as well as fleas. We have used this method a few times, the powder is effective but it can be an irritant to the lungs if inhaled and is sometimes tedious to apply especially on large dogs.
- Tick Spray: You can easily get a tick spray at the pet store or at your vet’s. Tick sprays are quick and easy to apply, we usually use Frontine Spray for our dogs and it works fine.
- Tick Dip: A dip is a concentrated chemical that needs to be diluted with water and applied to the animal’s fur with a sponge or poured over the body. The chemicals used in dips can be very strong, so be sure to read the labels carefully before use. You should not use a dip for very young dogs (under four months) or for pregnant and nursing pets. Ask your vet for advice before treating puppies, or pregnant or nursing pets.
- Shampoo: Bathing your dog with medicated shampoo will help get rid of ticks, this can be an inexpensive method of protecting your dog.
- Other Forms of Medication: You can speak to your vet about options such as oral medication and injections like Ivermectin that help to prevent and kill ticks. One of the advantages of this is you won’t have to be concerned about children or other animals coming into contact with the dog immediately after application, as you might with topical treatments.
- Fumigation: Endeavour to fumigate your dog’s kennel and surroundings at least twice a year, this will ensure that all the methods listed above are effective. You have to keep your dog away from the fumigated area for at least 24hours.
I hope this was helpful, if you know of other methods not listed above kindly share with the rest of us in the comment section.