Hi everyone, It's been a while since I posted but I really Really need some help. I took Grover hiking today in the woods and we both got covered in seed ticks, these very VERY tiny brown ticks (the size of a pin head or smaller). I was easily fixed up. But Grover is in a mess. He has been dosed with Frontline on July 25th, so I clearly it has no effect on seed ticks. I gave him a bath as soon as we got home in regular dog shampoo, not realizing the extent to which he was infested. As I was drying him I realized they were ALL OVER HIM. In the Millions!! I locked him in the bath room and called the emergency vet. They basically told me that I should try bathing him in flea/tick shampoo and that they weren't sure what to do exactly because this wasn't their area of expertise. Okay, so I get Tick Shampoo with Citrus from PetCo and we have another bath. More come off, but his fur is so dense that they are still there. I tried brushing him with a flea/tick comb, but it does not good for the ones that are so close to the skin.
Any suggestions? I can take him to the vet tomorrow morning, of course. But can they fix this? I think it's too early to apply the Frontline again. Some of the ticks that are on him look dead. I have two cats and I'm terrified, also, that he'll infest my house. Anyone have this issue before? Help!
I wanted to add a couple things. First, that he is not scratching as much as I would think a dog (that has never previously been infested with ticks/fleas) should be scratching with that many ticks on him. This leads me to believe that several are just trapped in his fur, but not physically attached with their mouths. Secondly, the dude is probably okay to have some crate time, with bathroom breaks, this evening due to the long hike and running around this morning/afternoon.
Well, a tick shampoo will kill the ticks. So I am pretty sure all you have to do is keep using the flea comb til they come out. We use Advantix 2 here, as the freaky little fleas seem to be immune to the frontline. It sounds like they are dead and you just have to comb them out. My corgi loves the flea comb...she would rather me use that than a regular brush.
I think we may be switching to Advantix after this little fiasco! I'm going to spend sometime on the porch with a flea comb this evening. He's scratching a little now, so I'm pretty sure some got to him! Poor little guy! We are never going hiking in those woods again. Ever. Thanks for the advice!!
Same experience here. Vet recommends/sells Frontline--did not work. Did my own research, switched to k9 Advantix II and have not seen a flea or tick on him since. Phew!
Although not absolutely certain, I'm guessing that Lyme disease -- like the other, more serious rickettsial dieseases ticks can vector (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) -- is a bloodborne infection unlikely to be acquired by simply handling ticks, like brushing a dog, if your skin is intact. The disease organisms must be injected under the skin. A tick is like a dirty hypodermic needle. It won't hurt you if you don't stick yourself with it.
If you're wearing gloves to protect yourself from the pesticide -- which I think is reasonable, since we humans have a long, long history of underestimating the toxicites of our chemical stuff -- get nitrile gloves, which offer much better chemical protection than latex.
Thanks for all the advice! I talked to the vet this morning and they recommended that I give him Certifect, which is like Frontline but is suppose to start killing ticks in 6 hours. I've read mixed reviews on line about it, but it has got to be better than letting him scratch himself to death. This morning he had a rash under is fur, I guess from all the biting...Poor baby! I feel horrible for him. They also recommended giving him Capstar, just in case, for fleas. I hate to give him all these chemicals! But I just don't know what else to do. I called other vets and one said to possibly shave him. I've never done that before and I worry that it might make the problem worse, in terms of causing itching.
What a mess!! :P
The good news is that the tick shampoo has probably killed the critters; however, you don't want to over-use the stuff cause it can cause rashes and skin irritation due to the heavy duty chemicals. If there are still dead ticks on him or you want to soothe the rash, I would try a mineral oil bath. Just wet his fur and then cover him in mineral oil, massaging it in and letting it set for 10 minutes, if possible. Then wash out the mineral oil using an oatmeal shampoo. I learned this trick while showing horses. The mineral oil bath will bring out all the loose hair, dead skin, and other things trapped in the hair. I use this method in the Spring and Fall when my Corgi Ike and horse Shorty are shedding to help the process along, as an added bonus it makes their hair and skin really soft and shiny. I hope he is feeling better soon.