Ticks are external parasites that are known to spread dangerous diseases to humans and their pets. Our Alpharetta vets are here to tell you about these nasty bugs, how to prevent them from causing problems, and what symptoms to look for.
What are ticks?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They do not fly or jump and so rely on hosts (usually, it's wild animals that are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property) for transportation. Once they are on your property, pets frequently become hosts and the parasites are then brought into your home.
Are ticks dangerous?
Because ticks spread a number of serious diseases, they are dangerous to both people and pets. People can get serious conditions such as Lyme disease when the tick's saliva—which contains germs and bacteria—makes its way into the bloodstream.
What do ticks look like in Alpharetta?
The most common species of ticks found in the Alpharetta area are the Lone Star tick, American Dog tick, and Black-legged tick. The Black-legged tick has the distinction of being the species that most commonly spreads Lyme disease in Georgia.
Lone Star Tick
American Dog Tick
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Even after a short walk through bush and grass, check your dog 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 small pets and dogs. Your options range from oral medication, and spot-on treatments to tick collars and medicated shampoos to kill them on contact. Speak with your vet to figure out 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 mowed. 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.