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Seed Ticks on Dogs

What Are Ticks?

Ticks are blood-feeding arthropods that experts divide into two main groups – soft ticks and hard ticks.

Soft ticks do not embed into their host when feeding, but instead take a blood meal and crawl away. Hard ticks embed themselves into the dog’s skin in the process of feeding.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of a tick is composed of four developmental stages:

  • Egg

  • Larval

  • Nymphal

  • Adult

Tick larvae are commonly referred to as seed ticks. Larvae hatch from the eggs laid by an adult female tick and are very tiny.

While the number of eggs deposited by females varies, often times eggs laid by one female at one time may number into the hundreds. Therefore, usually seed ticks on a dog equates to a very large number at one time, rather than just a few.

Treating Dogs for Seed Ticks

Treatment for seed ticks on dogs, as well as nymph and adult ticks, is a task usually best left to your veterinarian.

While there are numerous self-help products and methods to deal with this problem, the most effective and efficient methods are those used employed by your veterinarian.

Some general tick treatments provided or recommended by veterinarians include:

  • Oral tick medications

  • Tick-specific shampoos

  • Tick dips

  • Tick collars

Preventing Seed Ticks

Helpful and practical information directed to preventing seed ticks on dogs and other pets are found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Information related to tick removal is also found at this site, but always be sure to confer with your veterinarian before proceeding with tick removal or treatments on your own.


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