American Dog Tick : The 2021 Ultimate Guide

american dog tick

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American Dog Tick: What Is It?

American dog tick is a member of the hard tick family, which means they have a tough exterior shield. Although they are present throughout the year, the American dog tick is most prevalent in the spring. The American dog tick is a common tick found east of the Rocky Mountains and on the Pacific Coast in limited areas.

american dog tick
“American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) ♀” by Goshzilla – Dann is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The American Dog Tick is extremely dangerous to dogs and humans due to the variety of diseases it transmits. The American dog tick is capable of feeding on a variety of hosts, including humans and dogs, but rarely infests homes. The entire lifecycle of an American dog tick can take anywhere from three months to more than a year, depending on the climate.

When adult female American dog ticks are ready to lay their eggs, they will detach from their hosts and search for an appropriate egg-laying location.

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American dog tick can survive for up to two years without a host at any stage. Demacentor Variabilis is the scientific name for American dog ticks, according to Wikipedia. Numerous diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, can be transmitted to dogs and humans by the American Dog Tick.

The juvenile stages of the American dog tick tend to prefer mice to dogs and other large mammals, while the adults feed on both. American dog ticks are oval and flattened in shape. They are brown with whitish to grey markings. Contrary to its name, the American dog tick poses a threat to humans as well due to the pathogens it transmits. The American dog tick, like all ticks, is a bloodsucking ectoparasite.

American dog tick can also be brought into your yard by infested strays or wildlife, or if you live in densely forested areas or fields of tall grasses.
Tularemia has been reported to be transmitted via tick bites from several different species. In Minnesota, people are frequently bitten by American dog ticks, but they rarely transmit disease. Ticks have an unusual life span because they rely on blood from vertebrate animals to complete their life cycle.

How To Distinguish Between A Dog Tick vs A Deer Tick

While these ticks are named for their preference for white-tailed deer and other Western deer species as hosts, they may also feed on other small and large mammals, including humans.

dog tick vs deer tick
“Deer Ticks!” by Island Capture (aka Silverph or psilver) is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Blacklegged ticks and Western blacklegged ticks are commonly referred to as deer ticks and are frequently confused with brown dog ticks.

American dog ticks, like deer ticks, are three-host ticks, which means adults have already fed twice before seeking out humans. Although deer ticks do not feed on all animals, their diet includes hundreds of species.

The deer tick, American dog tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and Western blacklegged tick are the most notorious tick species that come into contact with humans.

The deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick, is capable of transmitting Lyme disease and other diseases to its hosts. By feeding on infected hosts, such as mice and deer, deer ticks spread Lyme disease.

Dog ticks are large and easily visible, whereas deer ticks are frequently quite small and easily missed. Adults are chestnut brown in color with white spots or streaks running down their backs.

Only female ticks transmit the disease during the adult life stage, as male ticks are not known to feed on blood.
In the spring and summer, both deer ticks and dog ticks are active.
In the fall, deer ticks are also active and can find a host in temperatures above freezing.

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Deer ticks have a blackhead, eight black legs, and a red, tear-shaped body, though they become brown and slightly rounded after feeding.

How do you tell the difference between a deer tick and a regular tick?

  • Deer ticks are the smallest ticks in North America, reaching a size of about a sesame seed as adults. They have a distinct reddish hue and a solid black dorsal shield with long, slender mouth parts. Western blacklegged ticks resemble deer ticks almost identically, but with a slightly more oval body shape.

Which color does a deer tick have?

  • Male and female deer ticks have flat, oval bodies that are not covered in a hard shell. Except for their legs, mouthparts, and scutum, female deer ticks are an orangish brown color (shield). Their abdomens are a dark reddish-brown color when they are not engorged, but darken significantly after feeding on a host.

What is the difference between a tick from a deer and a tick from a dog?

  • Ticks come in two varieties: deer ticks and dog ticks. Deer ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease and a few other diseases to humans. They’re around the same size as sesame seeds. Dog ticks are approximately twice the size of deer ticks and have a reddish brown shield.

Are dogs capable of carrying deer ticks?

  • The deer or black-legged tick can transmit Lyme disease to dogs and humans, as well as Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. Powassan virus can also be transmitted to humans via the black-legged tick.

What does Dog Tick Bite look like?

This tick season, here’s what you need to know about tick bites to keep you, your family, and your pets safe. Certain mammals, such as cats, appear to be immune to tick bites. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned, and bites are not always obvious. Use a safe insect repellent containing DEET before going on a walk in the woods or in a grassy area near the woods to avoid tick bites.

dog tick engorged
CREDIT: The original uploader was Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

If tick-borne diseases are not treated, they can cause serious health problems affecting your muscles, joints, brain, heart, vision, and nervous system. This is due to the tick’s ability to remain attached to the skin for up to ten days after it bites. The majority of tick bites are completely harmless and cause no physical signs or symptoms.

As is the case with humans, it is critical for animals to avoid tick bites and receive prompt Lyme disease treatment. Tick bites, on the other hand, can leave telltale signs such as patches of red, inflamed skin where the ticks attached to the dog’s body. Due to their time spent in tick-infested environments, field dogs are particularly susceptible to tick-borne diseases.

dog tick diseases
CREDIT: LYME DISEASE TICK BITE. SOURCE: ANAKOPA/GETTY IMAGES

Additionally, certain female ticks can cause a rare form of paralysis in dogs as a result of a toxin they produce during feeding. More importantly, ticks can transmit a variety of diseases to your pet. After identifying any tick bite, it is critical to conduct the careful observation of yourself or your pet.

Infestation & Prevention of Dog Tick Diseases

Tick protection for your cat or dog is critical for disease prevention. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis are just a few of the tick-borne diseases that are prevalent in the United States. Indeed, a tick bite can transmit a variety of diseases to your pet. We will discuss these and a few other tick-borne diseases that affect dogs and cats briefly in this section.

Ticks not only carry Lyme Disease, but also several other lesser-known diseases that can be harmful to you and your pet. Along with Lyme disease, ticks can transmit Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The diagnosis is complicated further by the possibility that dogs infected with Ehrlichia may also have other tick-borne diseases, such as Babesia, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Lyme disease is spread by two different types of ticks – the Western black-legged tick and the deer tick – and can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. Lyme disease’s geographic range is expanding, and it is now found in more US states and some Canadian provinces.

Ehrlichiosis occurs worldwide in areas where the ticks that transmit the disease are prevalent; this includes parts of the southeastern and south-central United States, extending from the Eastern Coast to Texas.

Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia. It is also known as “tropical canine pancytopenia” and affects dogs and other species worldwide.

Canine Ehrlichiosis is the most prevalent and one of the most dangerous tick-borne disease organisms known to infect dogs on a global scale. Ehrlichiosis is treated similarly to lyme disease. Cytauxzoonosis is a tick-borne disease that affects cats and is more prevalent in the south central and southeast United States.

Is a tick going to make my dog ill?

Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, and Hepatozoonosis are the most common tick-borne diseases that affect dogs. Each of these factors can have a negative impact on the health of dogs, and many of them can have a negative impact on the health of humans as well.

How long does Lyme disease take to manifest symptoms in dogs?

Lyme disease symptoms may not manifest in your dog for two to five months after infection.

When it comes to Lyme disease, what are the three stages?

While Lyme disease is typically classified into three stages — early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated — symptoms may overlap. Additionally, some individuals will present at a later stage of the disease without exhibiting symptoms of earlier disease.

All You need to know about Dog with tick fever

Fever, swollen and/or painful joints, generalized moodiness, and lethargy are all common symptoms of tick-borne diseases in dogs. If your veterinarian suspects that your puppy has tick fever, he or she may prescribe antibiotics prior to receiving test results. Tick fever, if left untreated, can develop into a chronic, debilitating, and even fatal disease.

dog with tick fever
“File:African tick bite fever – leg lesion.jpg” by Reinhard Kraasch is licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Tick Fever treatment is determined by the severity of the symptoms at the time of diagnosis. When diagnosing tick fever in dogs, your veterinarian will examine your puppy for the above-mentioned symptoms and may recommend diagnostic testing such as blood tests, urinalysis, and x-rays.

Preventing tick fever is primarily a matter of controlling ticks and your dog’s tick exposure. Although humans cannot contract Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever from infected dogs, the ticks that bite dogs can transmit these and other diseases to humans if they bite.

How long is tick fever contagious?

Certain types of tick bite fever are relatively mild and self-limiting – individuals may recover without requiring specific treatment. This process can take up to two weeks, but antibiotic treatment can shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the risk of serious side effect.

How are tick fever cases diagnosed?

Laboratory tests can look for evidence of the organism that causes the infection in a blood sample, rash specimen, or tick itself. Due to the critical nature of the early antibiotic treatment, physicians do not wait for these test results before initiating treatment if Rocky Mountain fever is strongly suspected.

Are humans susceptible to tick fever?

The following are the most frequently encountered symptoms of tick-borne illnesses: Fever/chills: Patients with all tick-borne diseases may experience varying degrees and times of onset of fever. Aches and pains: Headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches are all symptoms of tick-borne disease. You may also experience joint pain if you have Lyme disease.

Is tick fever curable in dogs?

While most cases of Tick Fever can be treated at home, if your dog is anaemic or extremely weak, your veterinarian may choose to keep him in the hospital to ensure his treatment and recovery have the best possible chance of success. While the majority of dogs recover completely from Tick Fever, it is a very serious disease that can be fatal.

Dog Tick Engorged: Getting Rid of Engorged Ticks on Dogs

When you disturb an engorged tick, the parasite’s digestive fluids are forced back into your bloodstream, where the bacteria that cause Lyme disease can be contained.

dog tick engorged
“American dog tick engorged” by KSRE Photo is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Remove an engorged tick correctly, however, and you may be able to prevent your dog from contracting a potentially fatal disease. If you do it incorrectly, you risk causing the tick to release all of its bodily fluids – including any pathogens capable of causing disease – directly into your dog’s bloodstream.

Proper identification of engorged ticks can help reduce the risk of tick-borne disease complications. The duration of a tick’s attachment is determined by the tick’s species, life stage, and host response to the bite.

Unengorged ticks are typically very small, black or brown in colour, oval-shaped, and flat. Engorged deer ticks are rusty or brown-red in colour, while other engorged ticks are light grey or greenish-grey in colour.

How do you determine whether a tick is engorged?

When a tick is engorged (after feeding), other characteristics can make identification difficult. The tick’s colour is rusty or brown-rooted while the other ticks are light grey or greenish-grey. The scutum, on the other hand, will remain unchanged.

Dog Tick In Ear: Keep Your Dog Healthy All Year Round

Given that ticks spend the majority of their time at dog height, it is not uncommon for a dog to have a tick in its ear. Getting a tick in your ear can be harmful to a variety of causes. It may even have an impact on your hearing, Russell adds, especially if you left it alone and if your eardrum tears during removal. These ticks tend to cling to their hosts’ ears and are often ignored by pet owners. A tick dip for dogs that contains pyrethrins is the most powerful.

Garlic repels fleas and ticks because the odour permeates the dog’s skin. When the tick is removed from the dog’s skin, the wound may remain and the tick’s mouth may drip with blood. Ticks should be removed immediately to prevent disease and injury. Although fevers may indicate a variety of various illnesses and symptoms, a dog who is running a fever should be checked for ticks.

If you have completely tick-free and sanitized your dog’s ear, it is a smart time to contact your veterinarian. When removing ticks from your dog’s ear, it is a good idea to swab the organ, especially the bitten region, with rubbing alcohol to avoid infection. If you see your dog scratching his head more than normal, get out a flashlight and closely check his ears for ticks.

Why are ticks attracted to ears?

Since ticks like to feed on the skin, one species, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, is called the brown ear tick. The membrane of the mammalian ear is typically thin, making it an ideal location for blood-feeding.

How can you remove a tick from an ear?

While acetone evaporates rapidly, irrigation of the ear canal with sterile water17 can help mitigate some of the acetone’s possible adverse effects. Ethanol and isopropyl alcohol both destroyed almost all ticks effectively, but took twice as long as acetone.

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Dog Tick Bite Symptoms

Additional symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Lyme disease symptoms may not manifest in your dog for two to five months after infection. Symptoms of infection include fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. In dogs, the Symptoms include decreased appetite, depression, and a moderate fever.

The majority of dogs react rapidly to adequate care, with symptoms improving within 24–48 hours. You may need to include a detailed history of your dog’s wellbeing, the onset of symptoms, and any potential predisposing factors.

Daily, thoroughly check your dog’s haircoat and manually remove any ticks you spot. If you live in a tick-infested area, consult your veterinarian about tick preventative medicine that helps prevent ticks from sticking to your pet and eliminates those that do. If you have any concerns about tick-borne diseases and how to protect yourself, you should consult a physician.

Is a tick bite followed by a rough lump?

Tick bites often elicit an allergic reaction on the skin, even though they are not infectious or disease-causing. Typical tick bite symptoms include the following: A slight hard bump or sore. The colour red.

Is it necessary to take my dog to the veterinarian after a tick bite?

Most veterinarians will tell you that you do not need to take your dog to the vet after a tick bite, but you can watch your dog for several weeks or months for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease. However, if your dog develops a fever, lethargy, lameness, or swollen lymph nodes, you can call your veterinarian immediately.

How to Remove All Big Ticks From Poor Dog Dog Ticks Removal Save Dog From Ticks #EP01

Conclusion

What do you look for after tick removal from a dog?

Hands should be washed, wounds should be cleaned with antiseptic, and tweezers should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Keep an eye out for any signs of infection in the region where the tick was. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if the skin remains irritated or contaminated.

Is it common for a dog to develop a bump after being bitten by a tick?

Ticks are a common parasitic source of lumps. Occasionally, the lump you see is still a tick that is still attached to your pet’s skin. Additionally, it may be a reaction to a tick bite, manifesting as a tiny lump on your dog’s skin. Reactions to tick bites are more likely to result in a hard lump (granuloma).

Is it permissible to apply triple antibiotic ointment to my dog?

Triple Antibiotic Ointment is an excellent topical antibiotic. It is safe to use on pets. It is safe. It’s an excellent method of cleaning and protecting the wound.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from a tick bite?

In cases of acute Lyme disease, initiating a course of antibiotics should make the dog feel clinically better within two to five days, but the dog would almost certainly need several weeks of antibiotics to completely clear the infection.

How do I clean up after a tick bite?

Ticks, on the other hand, are relatively straightforward to eradicate. You may use a non-toxic, indoor-safe pesticide such as Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray (available from Amazon). To eliminate ticks, liberally spray along baseboards and moldings, under doors, in corners, and on windowsills.

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    Author

    • Berry graduated in 2008 from Gaston College in North Carolina as a Registered Veterinary Technician. She moved to Hampton Roads in 2009 and got her license as a Veterinary Technician. Sherry is married to an amazing animal lover who allows her to have 5 wacky cats; Crazy, Dupie, Charcole, Luna, and Troubles. In her free time, she enjoys photography, art, writing, making jewelry, and doing just about anything creative.


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