Prevention and Removal of Ticks on Bully Breed Dogs

Ticks are ectoparasites that attach to capillaries in your Bully’s skin to feed themselves. Even though dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors are at higher risk of major tick infestations, dogs spending brief periods of time outdoors can also get infested. Ticks get stuck into the skin by inserting their mouthparts (usually called tick-head).
The major problem with ticks on Bully breed dogs is that they can carry and transmit a few dangerous diseases, such as lyme disease, that can be lethal for the dogs. Lyme disease is characterized by swelling of the joints and arthritis, resulting in lameness or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Other diseases transmitted by ticks include Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis, and all can be life-threatening. The obvious signs to look out for when it comes to tick-borne diseases are poor appetite and anorexia, blood in the urine, jaundice, anemia, vomiting, apathy, etc.

Removal of ticks
Removing a tick, or even worse a lot of ticks from your Bully breed dog is not pleasant at all. If you don’t feel competent enough to do the job, it’s better to take the Bully to the vet. You need to take care of the problem correctly and promptly. For those removing the tick(s) on their own, once you get familiar with all the steps you will realize that removing a tick is an easy process. There are also some myths regarding tick removal that might actually do more harm than good to the dog.

You will need to get all the necessary things such as tweezers with pointy ends, gloves (rubber or latex), antiseptic wipes, rubbing alcohol, and container or a jar (with lid). Optionally, include treats to keep your dog distracted.

As the diseases ticks spread are infective both for humans and dogs, you will need to wear gloves throughout the whole process. Protective gear allows you to play ‘tick removal’ safely. In order to remove the tick, the pooch needs to remain calm and stay as still as possible. Poking will only make the dog nervous. Find someone that can help keep the dog relaxed and calm while you are getting rid of this nasty insect. There will be cases when dogs will simply resist staying put, and will eventually become even more scared. That’s when you should seek professional help.

The pair of tweezers should be placed between the dog’s skin and the ticks. Bully breed dogs have shorter hair so it won’t be too hard to position them correctly. Grasp onto the tick close to the skin, the closest you can. However, be careful not to pinch the skin. Apply steady and even pressure while pulling the tick out. Avoid twisting the parasite or squeezing it because the inner fluids may contain infectious material. There is a myth that you can remove a tick with a lit match, but you should never be doing this. If you think that some part of the tick might still be left inside, don’t try to take it out by yourself, as you will cause further complication. Getting rid of the rest of the tick parts should only be performed by a veterinarian.

After you have safely removed the insect, place it in a container filled with rubbing alcohol. Most veterinarians will tell you to keep the tick in the container in case your Bully shows any signs of disease. In the United States only, there are about 200 species of ticks, each carrying different disease. The vet will be grateful to know which type of tick has been feeding off your dog in case of illness.

Antiseptic wipes, chlorhexidine solutions or antibiotic sprays can all be used to disinfect the bite site. Keep an eye for possible infections when the skin becomes inflamed and red. If the inflammation persists for more than a few days, make sure to visit your vet.

Tick Prevention
Preventing the dog’s exposure to ticks is really hard. These tiny insects can attach during short urban walks, hikes and any other outdoor activity. The least you can do is keep the grass mowed at home, and also avoid walking in places with grassy patches.
Luckily, there are a lot of products on the market that provide both short-term and long-term protection against ticks. These products come in the form of shampoos, sprays, spot-on solutions, tablets, chewables, and repellent collars. The decision about which product to use depends on the area you live in, your dog’s lifestyle, your budget, etc. It’s best to discuss the different options with your veterinarian.

Spot-on solutions are the most widely used tick-preventative products. They can help your Bully be tick-free of by providing long term protection. As the activity of most spot-ons is limited to 1 month, you should repeat the treatment regularly. They are applied to the dog’s coat and slowly spread throughout the body. These products are contact killers meaning that the insect doesn’t have to attach to a capillary in order to die.

Tablets and chewables are also commonly used. The difference between the two is that tablets are harder to give, while chewables are a form of treats containing the medications so your Bully breed dog will gladly eat them. Most of these products have a short-term effect and are only suitable for treating existing infestations. Some of them are long-acting and are usually more expensive.

If you are looking for the ultimate long-term preventative the best option for your Bully Breed Dogs are repellent collars. The new generation collars are odorless and aren’t greasy. The chemicals inside them are released by friction between the collar and the dog’s neck. Quality tick-repellent collars prevent infestation for up to 8 months.

There are a lot of natural products and even recipes for home-made tick repellent solutions. Whatever product you may be using, always stay vigilant and check your Bully regularly for ticks. At first, it’s a bit confusing about choosing the right product for your dog. After a few tries, you will figure out what soothes your dog’s needs the best.

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