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Ought to You Defend Your Canine From Ticks in Washington State?


Though ticks will not be as prevalent as they’re on the east coast, defending your canine from ticks in Washington state continues to be vital.

Tick bites used to solely be a priority if you happen to lived on the east aspect of Washington State, the place ticks have all the time been encountered commonly, however that has modified within the final decade. 

Now, you must be cautious regardless of the place within the state you’re.

Dachshund with one ear flipped back standing on a hiking trail surrounded by wildflowers

I grew up in Western Washington and solely noticed one tick on my canine as a child. And we spent lots of time enjoying outside and within the woods.

Then, about 10 years in the past, my canine received bit by a tick in one in every of Seattle’s city parks.

Since then, I’ve seen an growing variety of folks in Western Washington reporting ticks on their canine.

Since I’ve lived in Washington State for many years, and have been mountain climbing with my canine right here for 20 years, I do know the historical past of ticks in our state and the way they’ve unfold in addition to the native dangers.

On this article, I’ll share what I do know in hopes of serving to those who simply moved right here or are visiting from one other space.

Why You Have to Defend Your Canine From Ticks

Along with ticks being actually creepy and gross, a tick chew will be harmful.

Ticks carry many illnesses that they’ll move alongside to people and animals.

Thankfully, compared to different areas of the USA, comparatively few tick-borne illness circumstances are reported every year within the Pacific Northwest. 

In response to the Washington State Division of Well being (DOH), ticks in Washington State can unfold illnesses corresponding to:

  • Lyme Illness
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Tick-borne Relapsing Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Noticed Fever
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Tularemia
  • Babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis

Of the tick borne illnesses above recognized to be current in Washington State, the one ones present in people, who haven’t been uncovered to ticks outdoors of Washington State, are babesiosis, lyme illness, tick-borne relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain Noticed Fever, and Tularemia.

Reported info for canine and tick-bourne illnesses in Washington State is sparse.

Notice: this might have extra to do with the truth that Canine Lyme borreliosis is just not a reportable illness than precise quantity circumstances.

This Seattle authorities doc solely calls out Lyme illness and Anaplasmosis (bolded above) as being detected in canine in Washington State.

As well as, s 2021 article by an Everett, WA veterinarian says that the most typical tick-borne illnesses recognized in canine within the Pacific Northwest embody Canine Bartonellosis (this wasn’t listed on the WA DOH Web site, may be very uncommon, and that is the one point out I’ve seen of it so it’s not on the listing above), Lyme Illness, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Noticed Fever.

I couldn’t discover any circumstances of tick paralysis in canine in Washington State however a number of circumstances are present in llamas and alpacas every year in Washington State (supply).

The underside line is {that a} canine in Washington State can probably contract any of the above tick-bourne illnesses however they’re uncommon.

For extra particulars concerning the illnesses listed above, try the Washington State Division of Well being web site.

Lyme Illness in Washington State

Regardless that I touched on Lyme illness above, I wish to present extra details about it because it’s probably the most prevalent tick borne illness in the USA and the one folks concern probably the most.

Engorged tick that has bit a dog
Picture Credit score: Depositphotos/mepoohyaphoto

You in all probability marvel if Washington State has ticks with Lyme illness. 

The reply is unquestionably sure, though the experiences of Lyme illness in canine in Washington State are drastically decrease than in some areas of the nation just like the east coast.

Every year, solely 0-7 confirmed Lyme illness circumstances per yr are reported to be acquired in Washington in people (supply).

Sure, I do know that is human circumstances, and the numbers for canine may differ, however like I mentioned above, I can’t discover particular reported numbers for canine in Washington State regardless of hours of analysis.

Based mostly on the ignorance supplied on this canine loving state (some may say canine obsessed), and what my vet has informed me previously, the variety of case numbers of Lyme illness in canine in Washington are additionally very low.

To again this assertion, this ticks in Seattle article by a neighborhood veterinarian, M. Donovan, says, “We have now all heard of Lyme illness, which is comparatively uncommon right here…”

The article above was written in 2018 although so it’s potential that the circumstances of Lyme illness in canine in Washington State have elevated by then. 

Nevertheless, there has not been an explosion of circumstances so the numbers are nonetheless comparatively low.

Notice: People bitten by ticks in Washington State usually tend to contract tick-borne relapsing fever in Washington State than Lyme Illness.

Curiously sufficient, though there are fewer ticks in Western Washington, this King County Lyme Illness info web page says, “In Washington state [Lyme disease] happens primarily within the western half of the state.”

My guess is as a result of the deer tick is the most typical on the west aspect of the state and likewise the most typical tick in Washington to transmit Lyme illness (see the part under).

Two essential issues to learn about Lyme illness are:

  • A tick should chew an animal to transmit Lyme illness
  • Usually, a tick should be connected for 36 to 48 hours with a view to transmit Lyme illness (supply) and have “taken a blood meal”.

Meaning if you happen to discover a tick in your canine that has not bit them but, the prospect of transmitting Lyme illness is zero.

If a tick hasn’t sucked blood out of your canine but (as evidenced by its swollen physique), and/or you recognize it hasn’t been connected for over 24 hours, it’s most unlikely to not possible that your canine will contract Lyme illness.

Learn under to see which Washington State ticks are most definitely to transmit Lyme illness to your canine if bitten.

What Type of Ticks Might Chunk Your Canine in Washington State?

There are 4 species of ticks generally present in Washington State.

Western Black Legged Tick

Close Up of Western Black Legged Tick - a tick species found in Wshington State
Picture Credit score: DepositPhotos/KPixMining

Western black-legged ticks (additionally known as deer ticks) are primarily present in Western Washington, and alongside the japanese slopes of the Cascade Mountains, in forested or brushy areas.

This tick is most simply recognized by its reddish-orange physique, black defend and darkish black legs

Western black-legged ticks can transmit Lyme illness. They’ll additionally transmit Anaplasmosis.

Western Canine Tick

Close Up of Western Dog Tick - a tick species found in Wshington State
Picture Credit score: CDC/James Gathany

The Western Canine Tick, generally additionally known as the American Canine Tick, will be discovered throughout Washington, however is discovered primarily in japanese Washington and elements of southwest Washington. 

The American canine tick have a darkish brown physique. Females have an off-white defend, whereas grownup males look extra mottled.

They like woodland areas, medium peak grasses and shrubs between wetlands and woods, and sunny or open areas round woods. 

It’s frequent to search out larvae and nymphs (very tiny, early phases) of those ticks in your canine. 

The American Canine Tick transmits Tularemia and Rocky Mountain noticed fever.

Rocky Mountain Wooden Tick

Close Up of Rocky Mountain Wood Tick - a tick species found in Wshington State
Picture Credit score: Depositphotos/Willypd

The Rocky Mountain Wooden Tick is discovered totally on the japanese aspect of Washington State. They appear similar to American Canine ticks.

They like woodland areas, medium peak grasses and shrubs between wetlands and woods, and sunny or open areas alongside the sting of woods. 

Rocky Mountain Wooden ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain noticed fever and tularemia.

Mushy Tick

Mushy ticks are primarily encountered when sleeping in rustic cabins or yurts in mountainous areas the place rodent encounters are frequent.

Mushy ticks wouldn’t have a tough shell and are formed like a big raisin.

Mushy ticks can transmit tick-borne relapsing fever. 

As a result of smooth ticks often feed at night time. As a result of the bites are fast and painless, they usually stay connected for a really brief time, most individuals by no means notice a tick bit them. 

Though the Washington State Division of Well being doesn’t listing it as a standard Washington State tick on their web site, I’ve additionally discovered proof that Brown Canine ticks are additionally present in Washington. 

Close Up of Brown Dog Tick - a tick species found in Wshington State
Picture Credit score: Depositphotos/smuayc

The brown canine tick is a reddish brown with a slim form compared to different ticks and doesn’t have a defend/disk close to the top.

The Brown Canine tick can transmit Rocky Mountain noticed fever.

*the data above was compiled from the Washington State Division of Well being,, and the CDC.

Of the ticks listed above, the most typical ticks on canine in Washington State are the Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick), Rocky Mountain wooden tick, and American Canine Tick.

Please not that particular person ticks inside a species might look diferent relying on life stage and gener. For extra tick images, see HERE and HERE.

How Dangerous Are Ticks in Washington State?

Ticks positively reside in Washington State. How dangerous they’re is dependent upon the place within the state you’re looking although.

Though they’ve been discovered on canine and folks, and the incidence is growing, ticks will not be frequent in Western Washington.

I’d say ticks will not be dangerous in Western Washington and I really feel very protected there with out tick safety.

Ticks are quite common in central and japanese Washington although.

Though there’s much less of an issue with ticks as on the east coast, it’s nonetheless vital to imagine you or your canine might choose up a tick when mountain climbing these areas and take precautions.

Tick season in Washington State is spring by way of summer season into early fall (Apri-September). That is when ticks are ample in central and japanese Washington.

Simply because that is the most typical time to search out them, doesn’t imply your canine can’t choose up a tick at different occasions of the yr although, particularly in Western Washington the place winter temperatures are extra delicate. 

How To Defend Your Canine From Ticks

Disclosure: A few of the hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks (Amazon Affiliate or different packages we take part in). As an affiliate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases.

Tick prevention is the easiest way to protect you and your canine from contracting tick-borne illnesses.

A tick can solely transmit the illness in the event that they chew so holding them off of your canine is vital.

To attenuate the prospect of your canine selecting up, or getting bitten by, ticks:

  • Preserve them on the path and out of the comb
  • Verify them totally for ticks throughout your hike, as soon as you come to the automobile, and while you return house
  • Use a month-to-month topical, or chewable, flea and tick preventative
  • Spray them down with a pet-safe insect repellent as well as (elective)
  • Tie an insect repellent bandana round their neck to weblog the scruffy fur on the again of their neck the place ticks prefer to burrow

I all the time do the primary three of those with my canine throughout tick season. 

After I examine my canine for ticks, I really feel everywhere in the physique with my fingers. I focus on the ares the place ticks are most definitely to cover like again of neck, inside ears, between paw pads, in arm pits, and within the groin space (assume darkish and heat).

Vectra 3DⓇ is my flea and tick repellent of choice for my dogs

My favourite tick repellants are Vectra 3D and K9 Advantix II as a result of they really repel ticks (most solely kill them after biting) they usually work on a number of completely different species of ticks (most solely shield from one).

The insect repellent bandana presents a little bit further safety for one of many ticks favourite hiding locations – the again of the neck – however generally the climate is just too sizzling for my canine to put on one.

What To Do If Your Canine Will get Bit By A Tick

In the event you discover a tick connected to your canine, don’t panic.

You’ll be able to select to go to the vet however you don’t must (go in case you are in any respect involved although).

Take away the tick utilizing a pair of tweezers just like the TickEase Twin-Tipped Tick Remover Tweezers.

DO NOT burn it, twist it, or smother it; that may trigger it to spit extra saliva into your canine, which carries any illnesses a tick might have.

Watch this video for the right method to take away a tick.

It’s all the time a good suggestion to wipe the chew space with alcohol to sterilize it after the tick has been eliminated.

In the event you attempt to take away the tick however the head continues to be caught in your canine, examine my expertise right here.

Place the tick in a sealed container and put it within the freezer to kill it.

Preserve the tick for a minimum of a few weeks when you hold a watch out for any indicators and signs of lyme illness or sickness.

Take note of how your canine is appearing and name your vet instantly if you happen to see indicators that your canine may not be feeling nicely.

By holding the tick, you may as well examine it nearer and use this tick identification information to assist determine what sort it’s, ship some info and a image to Tick Spotters for identification, or mail it to a laboratory that does tick testing and identification.

Realizing what sort of tick you or your canine had been bitten by can let you know what frequent illnesses that species of tick carries in your space.

Widespread Questions on Ticks within the Pacific Northwest

Beneath are some frequent questions folks ask concerning ticks in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

Can Canine get ticks in Washington?

On this article, we now have established the reply to this query is sure.

In my expertise, a canine is extra prone to get ticks on them than people.

Causes for this embody complacency of the proprietor with regards to tick safety for his or her canine, the truth that people can cowl most of our physique with clothes to forestall ticks from getting on us, canine usually tend to wander away path and thru the comb or grass, canine hair tends to “comp” ticks off of vegetation.

Are ticks frequent within the Pacific Northwest?

In lots of areas west of the Cascade Mountains, it is not uncommon to come across ticks.

Tick sightings are considerably fewer on the west aspect of the Cascade Mountains alongside the Pacific Coast however they’re current and the variety of sightings has elevated considerably within the final 10 years.

Does Washington State have a tick downside?

Are ticks current in Washington?  Sure. 

Does this pose a “downside”? Sure, within the sense that nobody likes to find these nasty blood suckers on themselves or their canine nor do they wish to get sick from being bit. 

Whether or not ticks are thought of an issue in Washington State is all relative although.

 I’d take into account the prevalence of ticks, and Lyme Illness, on the East coast an issue. 

As a result of circumstances of tick-borne illnesses in Washington State are considerably much less, personally I’d not say Washington has a “tick downside”.

Tick bite on a dog with a red and purple rash around it

What sort of ticks are present in Spokane Washington?

Spokane, one of many largest cities on the east aspect of Washington State, is on the border of Washington and Idaho.

Particularly, the border of northern Idaho. 

So you might be questioning if there are completely different ticks present in Spokane than the remainder of Washtinton state as a result of they’ve migrated from Idaho. 

Ticks present in northern Idaho are Rocky Mountain Wooden Ticks, Brown Canine Ticks, and American Canine Ticks, and Western Blacklegged Ticks – the identical ticks present in Washington State. 

For the reason that ticks present in japanese Washington, the place Spokane is positioned, and in northern Idaho, any ticks that migrate throughout the border are the identical species as present in Washington State.

One fascinating observe is that the Spokane Regional Well being District says  “This illness is transmitted to animals and people by blacklegged ticks (picture proper), also called deer ticks, contaminated with the micro organism. Blacklegged ticks (which transmit Lyme Illness) will not be native to the Spokane space and don’t reside in Spokane County.” 

Ought to I’m going to the vet if my canine has a tick?

Any time you’ve got a well being concern, please take your canine to the vet. 

I’m not a veterinarian and am solely sharing info from analysis and private expertise right here to assist inform you.

As said above, if you happen to merely discover a tick crawling in your canine (unattached), it’s not potential for that tick to unfold illness and it’s simply eliminated along with your fingers.

If the tick was solely crawling round on my canine’s physique, there can be completely no concert events and I’d not take my canine to the vet.

In the event you discover a tick connected to your canine, and that is your first expertise, I do assume taking your canine to the vet will be useful.

Your vet can speak to you concerning the present circumstances they’re seeing in Washington State, and basic dangers of tick bites on your canine, to ease your thoughts. 

They will even instruct you what indicators and signs of tick-borne illnesses to look out for. 

Upon getting been by way of this expertise as soon as, you might determine a vet go to is just not mandatory each time your canine is bit by a tick. 

Simply take away it and hold it within the freezer in case your canine begins to behave sick so the tick will be despatched in for testing.

What if I attempt to remnove the tick however I don’t get all of it?

This occurred to me once I tried to take away a tick from my canine with tweezers when it wasn’t engorged.

I paniced at first but it surely seems that it’s not an enormous deal.

Learn this text to search out out what occurred, and what I realized, when the tick head received caught in my canine.

How is Lyme illness in canine handled?

As soon as your pet has been recognized with Lyme illness, it may be handled with oral antibiotics which can be administered each day for a interval of 4 weeks. 

In case your canine can be experiencing joint ache, your veterinarian might prescribe an anti-inflammatory.

If the illness has progressed to the purpose of inflicting kidney injury, extra highly effective antibiotics may be mandatory, and hospitalization will be required. 

Last Ideas About Canine and Ticks in Washington State

Ticks are gross and it is best to do all the things you may to forestall them from getting on and biting your canine.

The one method to assure your canine doesn’t get an sickness or illness from any tick that will get on them is to take away it earlier than they chew.

Ticks will not be a significant concern in Western Washington so that you don’t want to fret as a lot about them there. Fleas are a means larger concern in Western Washington.

You could wish to use a preventative in your canine if you happen to reside or spend time in Western Washington for that motive, particularly spring by way of late fall.

Coincidentally, most flea repellents additionally deal with ticks so you’ll be overlaying each bases.

Ticks are positively extra of an issue in central and japanese Washington.

Throughout tick season, it’s greatest to take all the precautions you may to forestall ticks and tick bites.

How bad are the ticks in Washington State? What ticks will you find there and can they transmit Lyme disease to your dog? Find out if you should protect your dog from ticks in Washington State from a local.


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