Dog’s best friend: It’s not who you think it is!

brown dog tick

Dogs are considered man’s best friend because of their close relationship, loyalty and companionship with humans.  Based on this definition, Dr. Anna Coffin says the brown dog tick should be considered dog’s best friend.

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanginueus) lives inside and around homes and kennels, including in colder regions of North America such as Canada and Alaska.  The brown dog tick is very tolerant to drought and thrives under conditions of high temperatures and low brown dog tickhumidity.

A female tick can lay 360-3000 eggs.  Ticks can complete their life cycle in 2 months under favorable conditions.  They hide in cracks and crevices within your house, garage and dog runs.  They can crawl up walls and are often found living in false ceilings.  Due to all these factors, the brown dog tick has been known to cause home tick infestations.

Watch this short, informative video from Dr. Susan Little from Oklahoma State University about the brown dog tick.

The brown dog tick transmits a number of diseases including, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Hepatazoonosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.   Unlike other ticks, every life stage of the brown dog tick feeds on your dog!  Dr. Anna Coffin says the brown dog tick, and many of these diseases are a threat to you and your dog here in Oklahoma.brown dog tick

The best way to prevent transmission of these deadly diseases to your dog is year-round protection with a tick control product.  Ask your veterinarian which product they recommend.  Dr. Anna Coffin prefers Seresto Collar for eight months of protection.  The Seresto Collar not only kills ticks but it also repels them so they can’t attach to transmit diseases.

Environmental control of brown dog tick:

  1. Keep grass short
  2. Remove brush piles and leaf litter
  3. Restrict the use of groundcover, especially in areas frequented by family and pets
  4. Discourage rodent activity
  5. Cleanup and seal stone walls and small openings around the home
  6. Move firewood piles and bird feeders away from the house because larvae and nymphs feed on small mammals and birds
  7. Keep dogs and cats out of the woods to reduce ticks brought back into the home
  8. Use plants that do not attract deer 
  9. Move children’s swing sets and sand boxes away from the woodland edge and place them on a wood chip or mulch type foundation
  10. Trim tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to let in more sunlight
  11. Widen woodland trails
  12. Consider a pesticide application around the perimeter of the yard

Become your dog’s best friend and protect him from the brown dog tick with all year tick control products.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and, therefore, treat every four-legged friend as part of the family.

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