How do you tell if a tick bite is infected on a dog? A Comprehensive Guide

What Do Ticks Look Like on Dogs?

A tick is tiny — it feels like a hard bump on your dogs skin and is typically a dark brown or black. Depending on the life stage you see, some ticks will have six legs (larvae) or eight legs (nymphs and adults). If they have been on your dog for a while, they might be bloated from feeding on your dogs blood and appear to be a light brown or gray color. In cases like these, a tick can easily be confused with a small skin lump or cyst.

Ticks are typically found near a dogs neck, head, ears, and in the creases under their legs. Most people only notice ticks after the creatures have attached themselves to a dog to blood feed. But its important to know that when ticks get on a dog, they will often move around the body searching for the best place to bite and blood feed.

What does a tick bite on a dog look like?

A tick bite on a dog looks like a small red bump, similar to a mosquito bite. These bumps often appear at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and resolve themselves over a few days.

Can a tick bite become infected?

Yes, just like any skin wound, tick bites can become infected. Tick bites aren’t typically itchy, so if you find your pup scratching at an old tick bite wound, it is a sign that an infection may have developed. Other signs include worsening, or continued, redness and weeping or oozing around the wound.

Tick bite wounds can be cleaned gently with over-the-counter chlorhexidine solution. An over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment or spray can be applied after cleaning. If it worsens or doesnt show signs of initial improvement in 1-2 days, seek care from your veterinarian.

If you suspect that your dog’s tick bite is infected, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs- And Why It’s SO Dangerous – Professional Dog Training Tips

Now that summer is upon us, there’s a good chance you’re spending all of your spare time outdoors. If you have a dog, that likely means you’re bringing them along for the walk, jog, run, ride, or swim (especially if you have a dog pool at home!). As wonderful as that is, you want to make sure that you take the same precautions with your pup as you do with yourself. For instance, you might prep for the summer sun with plenty of sunblock—so you should also protect your pooch with dog sunscreen too! Another super important task for both you and your dog is checking for ticks.

According to Dr. Danielle Bernal, Wellness Natural Pet Food veterinarian, tick bites on dogs can lead to anemia, Lyme disease, and even paralysis, so it’s important to act as quickly as possible if you notice one of these pests on your dog.

First, you probably want to know what youre looking for and how to check your dog for ticks. Ticks come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the type. Dog ticks, deer ticks, and the lone star tick can all be found on your pet. While some are about the size of an eraser when engorged, others can be as tiny as a pin prick. Because of this, it’s important to always give your dog a thorough check by combing your hands through their fur after being outside, especially if you were on a hike or somewhere with tall grass.

If you do find a tick, dont worry—ahead is everything you need to know about managing tick bites on dogs.