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Pets and Ticks | Part 1

The warmer months of summer mean not only preventing heat stroke in pets but also keeping them protected from pesky ticks. While spring and fall are the most prevalent tick seasons across the country, ticks can be present year-round so it’s crucial to begin preparing your pets now before it’s too late.


This is Part 1 of a four part series on ticks that will cover everything from identifying ticks to preventing them from transmitting diseases to your pets. We’ll begin by taking a closer look at the ticks themselves.



Types of Ticks

Your canine companion can be the recipient of potentially dangerous bites from several different types of ticks. Here are the most common ticks to look out for:


American Dog Tick


  • Identifying features:

  • Chestnut brown

  • White spots or streaks down back

  • Engorged females become slate gray and become up to 1/2" long

  • Feed:

  • Larvae and nymphs: mostly small rodents

  • Adults: dogs, cattle, other animals, humans

  • Lifespan: up to two years without food

  • Region: Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the eastern United States, as well as east of Saskatchewan in Canada

  • Where to find them:

  • Grassy areas

  • Low vegetation near roads, paths, trails, and recreational areas

  • When to find them:

  • Present all year round

  • Most prevalent in the spring


Black-Legged Tick (Deer Tick)


  • Identifying features:

  • Flat

  • Orangish-brown body

  • It becomes darker when feeding

  • Engorged females become up to 1/2" long

  • Feed:

  • Dogs

  • Humans

  • Lifespan: up to three years without food

  • Region: Throughout the Midwest and eastern US and Canada

  • Where to find them:

  • Wooded areas along trails

  • When to find them:

  • Larvae and nymphs: Spring and early summer

  • Adults: Spring and fall


Brown Dog Tick (Kennel Tick)


  • Identifying features:

  • Reddish-brown

  • Engorged females become up to 1/2" long

  • Feed:

  • Dogs

  • Rarely humans

  • Lifespan: up to 18 months without food

  • Region: Throughout US and Canada

  • Where to find them:

  • Natural habitat: kennels, homes with dogs, cracks, behind radiators, under rugs and furniture, on draperies and walls

  • Feeding: Around the ears or between the toes of dogs

  • When to find them:

  • Present all year round

  • Most prevalent in the spring


Lone Star Tick


  • Identifying features:

  • Various shades of brown or tan

  • Female has a single silvery-white spot on the back

  • Males have scattered white spots

  • Engorged females become up to 1/2" long

  • Feed:

  • Larvae and nymphs: small wild animals, birds, and rodents

  • Adults: larger animals (dogs and cattle), humans

  • Lifespan: up to two years without food

  • Region: Midwest, eastern, and southeastern US

  • Where to find them:

  • Wooded and brushy areas

  • Underbrush along creeks and river bottoms

  • Near animal resting places

  • When to find them:

  • Present all year round

  • Most prevalent from March to July


In Part 2, we will discuss some of the diseases ticks can carry that can affect your pet. Stay tuned for more!


Learn More About Pet Safety with Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture

While here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, we specialize in acupuncture, our main priority is treating your pets with the aloha they deserve. That’s why we’re committed to helping you keep your pets safe through any means possible.


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Of course, if you’re interested in what we do, you can learn more about the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. You can also schedule a video consultation with Dr. Kho, who can discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture.


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