Pet Care Blog

Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Ticks are a danger to people and pets because they can spread a number of serious diseases. Here, our Southeast Memphis vets explains more about these external parasites including what to look for, and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.


What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Unable to fly or jump, ticks rely on hosts for transportation. Most often it is wild animals that are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property. Pets frequently become hosts and introduce ticks into your home once these parasites have arrived on your property.

Are ticks dangerous?

Ticks spread a number of serious diseases, making them a danger to both people and pets. The saliva of the tick contains germs and bacteria which can be transmitted to people and lead to conditions such as Lyme disease.

What do ticks look like in Tennessee?

In Tennessee the most commonly found species include the brown dog tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick, however, there are up to 15 different species of ticks that live in the state. 

Most commonly found in warm environments is the brown dog tick. These ticks are a reddish brown color and are approximately 1/8 of an inch in length if they haven't fed and up to a 1/2 inch in length if they are engorged.

Frequently found in parks, along wooded paths, and in farm pastures, the American dog tick is most active in the spring, summer and fall. These parasites are reddish brown in color with white or yellow markings. Male American dog ticks are about 1/8 of an inch in length. Female American dog ticks are a bit larger than the males and can grow up to a ½ inch in length once fed. 

Lone star ticks are most active from April through July. These ticks are about 1/8 of an inch in length and brown in color; the females have a white spot in the middle of their backs.

How do I check my pet for ticks?

Even after the shortest of walks through grass and bush, carefully check your dog for ticks. Be sure to check deep in your pet's fur between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs and around the neck.

How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?

A number of different methods are available for getting rid of and preventing ticks on small pets and dogs. Your options include oral medications, spot-on treatments, tick collars, and even bathing your pet with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients to kill ticks on contact. Speak to your vet to find 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 well trimmed. When there are fewer areas for ticks to live and breed, there are likely to be fewer ticks around. At the height of tick season it can also be a good idea to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.

Tick prevention is included in our annual Wellness Plans. Choose the Wellness Plan that's right for your pet.

Looking for a vet in Southeast Memphis?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Full, Partial & Laryngeal Paralysis in Cats

Full or partial paralysis in cats indicates that your kitty has lost their ability to move one or more body parts. On the other hand, laryngeal paralysis in cat is a disorder of the upper airway that affects your cat's voice and ability to breathe properly. Our Memphis vets explain more about these very serious conditions.

The Importance of Cat & Dog Checkups

Annual physical checkups for your pet give your veterinarian the opportunity to help prevent disease and spot the earliest signs of developing health problems. Today our Memphis vets share more about the importance of routine exams and what they entail.

Help! Should I take my cat to the vet for limping?

Whether your feline friend is an indoor cat or outdoor adventurer there is a myriad of ways that your cat could injure a leg or paw and wind up limping. But injuries aren't the only reason for cat limping. Here our Memphis vets share a few common reasons for limping in cats and what you should do.

Causes, Symptoms & Treatments for Cat Urinary Tract Infections

Although our Memphis vets don't often see urinary tract infections in cats, older cats can experience a number of other urinary tract issues that cause similar symptoms. Here we explain some of the most common symptoms, causes and treatments for urinary tract infections and diseases in cats.

Do you have an overweight cat? Here's How to Tell

Obesity is on the rise in our feline friends and carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to a cat's overall health and longevity. Our Memphis vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.