Tick prevention for dogs
Repel ticks on dogs
There are a number of medical products for treating ticks. Using one of these rather than a natural product is often recommended, as ticks can transmit infections.
Traditionally, Frontline has been used effectively to kill ticks rapidly after their arrival on a dog's coat, although they may still attach to the skin in the short term. Frontline is very effective when used regularly. Preventix collars can also be used to kill ticks. Other products that repel the tick or prevent attachment also exist including Advantix, which repels as well as kills ticks. It is a good idea to discuss your dog's flea prevention with your vet.
In the UK, the main risks are bacterial infections that may cause swelling, pain, and an infected area in the surrounding skin, and Lyme disease which can be more serious and cause ongoing arthritic disease.
In other countries, more serious blood-borne parasites can be transmitted such as ehrlichia and babesia, which can cause symptoms ranging from anaemia to neurological and arthritic disease, and can be fatal.
It is a good idea to avoid long grass in the tick season, which is generally between March and October in the UK, and to groom dogs after walks to remove ticks before they attach.
Any ticks that do attach should be removed promptly to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.
Always check that no mouth parts have been left embedded in the skin, as these can cause infection. Never use a cigarette or fire/heat in any form to remove ticks, as this can cause serious injury to the dog.