Ticks are more than a nuisance for dogs, but can huskies get ticks?
Huskies love to explore the outdoors, so it’s not surprising that they can get ticks. However, they can also pick them up from other animals, humans, and your own yard. However, a lack of tick control plays a role in huskies getting ticks as well.
- 5 Ways Huskies Can Get Ticks
- How To Check Your Husky For Ticks (Common Places To Check)
- Are Ticks Harmful To Huskies?
- How To Remove Ticks
- When To Contact Your Veterinarian
- Final Thoughts
5 Ways Huskies Can Get Ticks
If your husky spends a lot of time outside, you are probably aware that they may get ticks. If they get ticks when they haven’t been outdoors recently, this can leave you scratching your head.
First, let’s learn a bit about ticks’ preferred habitat.
Ticks prefer wooded or grassy areas where there’s plenty of wildlife, which they use as a food source. However, they are common in urban areas and coastal areas as well.
They are typically found close to the ground in moist or humid areas. These include logs or branches, tall brush, and grass. When in their early stages, they are particularly fond of decomposing leaves which accumulate under trees.
You should be particularly wary in areas that feature:
- Wood piles
- Tall grass
- Large shrubs
- Leaf piles
- Stone walls
- Bird feeders
1. Outdoor Excursions
The most obvious way a husky can get ticks is when outdoors. If you take your husky on long walks or hikes for exercise, and you certainly should, this leaves them exposed to ticks.
We always recommend keeping your husky on a leash, but it can be even more important if you live in areas that are prone to ticks.
2. Your Yard
You don’t have to hit the trail to encounter ticks. They can also be found in your own yard.
Your husky likely spends a lot of time in your yard, which means they are at risk of ticks.
3. Other Animals
Ticks, just like fleas, are hitchhikers. If they don’t latch on to their host, they can simply hitch a ride on the animal. When your husky gets close to the animal carrying the tick, the tick can transfer to your pooch.
Ticks can also catch a ride on you or other humans your husky gets near. You may walk out into your yard, and pick up a tick on your pants leg. The tick can’t feed off your blue jeans, but it can use you to get to your pooch.
Ticks can latch onto your clothing, skin, or even items like purses and backpacks.
5. Lack Of Tick Control
Most of the time, lack of tick control is what ultimately leads to your husky getting ticks. It’s impossible to make sure your husky is never exposed to ticks.
However, you can use tick control medications, which protect your husky from ticks. Some of these medicines will kill ticks when they get onto your husky’s body, and others work when the tick bites your pooch.
Many medications are designed to protect them from both fleas and ticks.
How To Check Your Husky For Ticks (Common Places To Check)
Your husky’s thick double coat can make ticks difficult to spot. However, knowing where to look can help you spot them.
The most common places to find ticks on your husky include:
- Under Collar
Your husky explores the world with their head, which makes it a prime target for ticks. The head has less hair than most areas of their body, which also makes it an ideal home for ticks.
Pay particular attention to their ears. You’ll need to look on the outside, as well as the inside of their ears. It may sound odd, but ticks can also latch on to your husky’s eyelids.
Ticks can also latch onto your husky’s toes or even their footpads. The area between the toes provides a dark hiding spot that they like, so be sure to check this area.
The tail, particularly the area underneath their tail, is another great hiding spot for ticks. It’s an area you probably don’t see a lot of, so it’s easy for a tick to go unnoticed.
The groin is another area that most owners don’t look at very often.
However, this makes it an ideal spot for ticks. Your husky has less hair in this area as well, which makes it easier for ticks to reach their skin.
The area under your husky’s collar is dark, and you probably never see it.
This makes it a prime location for ticks. It’s a good idea to remove their collar periodically and inspect the area.
Just like the groin, the armpits are dark and hard to spot. It’s a warm nook that a tick can easily call home.
Are Ticks Harmful To Huskies?
Ticks are parasites that feed off the blood of animals. The bite of a tick doesn’t have any venom and is little more than a nuisance.
However, ticks can carry serious diseases. If they are carrying a disease, they can transmit the disease when they bite. As they feed off the blood of your pooch, bacteria can make their way into their bloodstream.
Lyme disease occurs due to a bacteria, known as Borrelia, which is carried by the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick.
The symptoms of Lyme disease typically appear 2-5 months after the dog is infected.
Rickettsial diseases are caused by bacteria as well. These intracellular bacteria are difficult to diagnose, even for vets. In some cases, several rounds of testing and treatment need to be performed.
Rickettsial diseases include anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and rocky mountain spotted fever.
Tick-borne diseases also include protozoal diseases. This is a tiny parasite which lives in the red blood cells of an infected host. It can cause diseases including canine bartonellosis, and canine hepatozoonosis.
Canine Hepatozoonosis isn’t contracted from tick bites. Instead, your husky can contract it by eating an infected tick, or an infected animal like a rodent or bird.
Signs Of Tick-Borne Diseases
Symptoms will vary based on the type of tick-borne disease. You should also keep in mind that some diseases will appear months after the initial bite.
However, these diseases can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen joints, and lethargy.
You may notice that your husky has a loss of appetite and pain when moving, or lameness. Muscle pain, jaundice, abnormal bleeding, and swelling in their arms or legs can also occur.
The most serious symptoms of tick-borne diseases include seizures, organ failure, and death.
How To Remove Ticks
You’ll need tweezers and an antiseptic such as alcohol to remove a tick from your husky.
You may also need a partner to keep your pooch still and calm while you remove the tick. Many huskies respond well to a treat to keep them occupied during the process.
You should remove the tick as soon as possible. The longer the tick is latched on to your husky, the more likely they are to contract a tick borne disease.
Grab the tick as close to the surface of their skin as possible with clean tweezers. Pull up steadily. Don’t attempt to twist when pulling. This makes it more likely that the ticks’ mouthparts will break off.
If the head or mouthparts are left after removing the tick, use the tweezers to remove them as well.
You can kill the tick by placing it in alcohol or simply flushing it down the toilet. It’s a great idea to place it into a small jar of alcohol, and label it with the date.
If your pooch does develop symptoms, the tick can provide your vet with valuable information.
Once the tick is removed, swab the area with alcohol or other antiseptic.
When To Contact Your Veterinarian
The good news is, most tick bites don’t require a visit to your veterinarian. However, there are some signs that you should contact your vet.
Problems With Tick Removal
Tick removal is usually a straightforward process. However, if you aren’t able to get the entire tick, or can’t remove it yourself, it’s a good idea to contact your vet.
Skin Irritation Or Infection
Like any wound or bite, a tick bite can lead to a skin infection. You’ll need to monitor the area where the bite occurred. If you notice a skin lesion, skin redness, swelling, or irritation, you should get your pooch checked out.
Symptoms Of Tick-Borne Diseases
If your pooch shows any signs of illness in the weeks or months after a bite, it’s a good idea to give your vet a call.
You should be particularly concerned if your pooch has a fever, stomach upset, lethargy, swollen joints, loss of appetite, or swollen lymph nodes.
You can’t avoid exposing your husky to ticks, but you can protect them with tick-prevention medications. It’s also important to check your husky for ticks regularly.
Most tick bites aren’t a cause for concern, but you should watch for any concerning symptoms.
How Soon Do Symptoms Of A Tick Disease begin?
If your husky gets a tick-borne disease, symptoms can begin within 1-3 weeks after the bite. However, it can take 2-5 months for symptoms to start.
How Long Can A Tick Stay On My Dog?
How long a tick can stay on your dog depends on the tick’s type and age. Ticks can remain on your dog and feed for 3-7 days.
How Can I Protect My Husky From Ticks?
You can keep your husky tick free by using a tick-preventative medication.
You can discuss which type of tick prevention is best for your husky with your vet. Checking your husky for ticks daily, particularly when they are in an area prone to ticks, can also keep them safe from tick-borne diseases.