My Dog Ate a Tick: What to Do?

Many pet owners talk about the various strange things their dogs ate on social media. On those lines, dogs eat ticks also. Does eating ticks cause any problems for dogs?

Insect digestion is not all harmful to dogs. They have a good stomach lining that is capable of handling tick ingestion. Their immunity is also higher than humans to fight against such issues. However, you still need to stay cautious! Let us discuss the scenarios that can cause illnesses due to tick ingestion and what you can do.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Tick?

You would have seen your pet lick up dead ticks with their tongue. As alarming as it can be, not much harm can come for your dog. If you witness such instances, make sure to prevent them from happening regularly.

1. Try to See if You Can Remove the Ticks Before They Swallow

You can try stopping them from eating if you can. Since the ticks are pretty small, preventing them from swallowing is not that easy. Hence, you might have to rush once you see them eating a tick. Open their mouth and remove the tick if possible.

2. Look for Symptoms

Ticks are bad for your dogs only if they carry any life-threatening diseases. Also, you never know where the tick has been before it bit your dog. Ticks feed off animal feces. Hence, you have to look for symptoms of infection that can develop over a few days.

The most common symptoms noticed in case of infections are:

  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Reduced activity
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Monitor your dog’s signs and make a call to visit the vet if needed.

3. Change Their Diet

If the symptoms begin appearing, try changing the diet to keep your furry friend comfortable. Moreover, giving them water can also help them wear out the infection before reaching a vet!

Also, give your dog some soft foods as they might love to munch soft foods while their stomach lining is destroying the ticks if any.

Give meals with extra water to make it easier for them to digest and chew. Dogs also do not create a fuss while eating in times of infection when you suitably prepare the food!

4. Take Your Dog to the Vet

If there are no visible problems after several days and your dog is fine, all is well. Although, if you find any unusual symptoms of infection, it is best to consult a vet at once. They might suggest medications to relieve the effects of infection.

Additionally, talk to your vet even when you do not notice any symptoms just to be sure. They will run a few tests to rule out the worst possibilities.

What Happens if My Dog Eats a Tick?

Dogs rarely fall sick when they eat ticks or any other insect. Moreover, problems start when the stomach does not digest or fight against insects. In the case of dogs, their stomach lining is stronger with acids.

Ticks can carry diseases that transfer from the host to the receptor with the help of egg formation. Once an illness-carrying tick enters the canine’s body, it begins forming eggs inside the stomach. If the eggs hatch, the disease is sure to latch on to your dog! 

If the dog has a good immunity system, the stomach acid will kill the eggs before hatching. Your dog is safer without any threat from ticks and their diseases.

On the other hand, if dogs are weak, the diseases can manifest and cause further troubles for them. Infections are the first signs of issues when ticks create sicknesses in dogs.

Check out the symptoms mentioned above in cases of tick ingestion.

Can My Dog Get Sick After Eating a Tick?

Regular ticks do not create many problems for our furry friends. But, when they ingest infected ticks, the story is upside down. Various symptoms start developing that may lead to dangerous consequences if left untreated.

Most of the signs are common and can mislead pet owners. However, if you see or know that your dog eats ticks, it is better to check all symptoms with a vet.

Lyme, Ehrlichiosis are some illnesses known to attack a dog through infected ticks. Apart from these, the other illnesses known for transmission through ticks are:

Hence, do not hesitate when you have the slightest doubt once your dog eats a tick. Your dog’s health is of utmost importance, and ruling out helps you stay satisfied and happy!

Can a Dog Die From Ticks?

Fatality from ticks for dogs is rare but it is possible! Is there any particular scenario that can lead to a dog’s death due to ticks? Yes, there is.

Though it might sound negligible, when symptoms are left untreated or ignored, crucial organs start failing. The kidney and heart are the prominent organs that are under threat due to ticks diseases.

Most pet owners find it hard to find tick-related diagnoses. It is because the symptoms do not appear for at least a few days or appear at all.

However, a word of caution for dog owners is that these diseases caused by tick ingestion can be the reason for advanced stages of sicknesses.

Some of the advanced health issues that occur due to Lyme disease are:

  • Arthritis
  • Pain in the entire body
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Renal problems
  • Cardiac issues

A few of the health issues noticed in Ehrlichiosis are:

  • Weight loss due to lack of appetite
  • Nose bleeds
  • Bulging of legs
  • Injured jaws or stomach

The type of ticks also plays an important role in deciding the diseases they can transmit. Most of the deadly cases in canines are due to the symptoms not showing or lack of timely treatment. Try reaching the vet before the symptoms worsen.

Are Ticks Dangerous to Dogs?

Ticks can create numerous issues for dogs. The most common case is when ticks bite dogs. Another case is when dogs consume ticks.

Some species of ticks are famous for drawing blood for the body they go into. If they begin consuming more blood, your dogs can become anemic. Not all ticks come under this category. It is a rarely occurring phenomenon.

Tick repellents and treatment plans may keep ticks clear off the dog’s path. Specific shampoos, collars, sprays, powders help in preventing ticks from coming near your dogs. Once they are not near, the chances of dogs eating ticks become negligible.

Signs of Tick Ingestion in Dogs

Have you seen your dogs biting their skin to get rid of the itching? Ticks can be the reason behind this. They latch onto the dog’s skin and bite them incessantly until removed.

So, one of the reasons dogs eat ticks is when they are trying to get rid of ticks from their body. While trying to remove them, they might accidentally go inside.

Other ways are when dogs purposefully eat them once they find them on the ground. After all, dogs like eating insects for the taste!

Look for these signs to check if dogs ate eating ticks:

  • Incessant biting is visible at the places of tick infestation throughout the body to remove irritation.
  • While going for a walk, check if the dogs are sniffing and eating stuff from bushes. They may be consuming ticks.
  • Also, check your carpets and cloth furniture for insects like ticks.
  • Your home garden can also contain ticks. Your dog might seem interested in a particular spot daily while licking. Comb those spots clean to understand if they are eating ticks.

Once you are doubtful, closely monitor them for changes in your daily routine. If you find such changes, take them to a vet nearby to confirm your findings. Do not wait for signs to occur if you find them eating ticks with your eyes.

How Long Does It Take for a Tick to Infect a Dog?

Ticks can infect dogs within 24-48 hours. However, it all depends on when the symptoms begin to appear. The most common sign of tick infection is fever. Occasionally, tick fever can occur even after two whole weeks.

Few other symptoms like vomiting, lack of energy, swelling are visible within the first few days. Take your dog to the vet even if one of the symptoms occurs. The treatment will help the dogs recover within 24 hours in most cases. 

Conclusion: Can a Dog Eat a Tick?

Ticks are harmless for dogs unless it carries disease-carrying pathogens. However, when dogs eat ticks, their stomach lining helps stay clear of problems. Moreover, the acid in the stomach helps kill the harmful ticks.

It is better to consult a vet when you come to know dogs are ticks. They might give the next course of action to determine if there will be any serious effects. In the case of prevention, try keeping the surroundings clean and use tick repellents to ward off ticks from the dog’s environment.

We hope this guide will clarify your doubts on the topic of tick ingestion in dogs.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.