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


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

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

Now, it’s a must to be cautious irrespective of the place within the state you might be.

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 a variety of time enjoying open air and within the woods.

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

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

Since I’ve lived in Washington State for many years, and have been 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 people who simply moved right here or are visiting from one other space.

Why You Have to Shield Your Canine From Ticks

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

Ticks carry many ailments that they’ll go alongside to people and animals.

Fortuitously, compared to different areas of america, comparatively few tick-borne illness instances are reported annually within the Pacific Northwest. 

In line with the Washington State Division of Well being (DOH), ticks in Washington State can unfold ailments akin to:

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

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

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

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

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 commonest tick-borne ailments recognized in canine within the Pacific Northwest embrace 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 record above), Lyme Illness, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Noticed Fever.

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

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

For extra particulars in regards to the ailments listed above, take a look at 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 essentially the most prevalent tick borne illness in america and the one individuals concern essentially the most.

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

You most likely marvel if Washington State has ticks with Lyme illness. 

The reply is unquestionably sure, though the stories 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 instances per 12 months are reported to be acquired in Washington in people (supply).

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

Primarily based on the lack of expertise offered on this canine loving state (some would possibly say canine obsessed), and what my vet has advised 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 an area 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 instances of Lyme illness in canine in Washington State have elevated by then. 

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

Be aware: 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 commonest on the west aspect of the state and in addition the commonest tick in Washington to transmit Lyme illness (see the part beneath).

Two essential issues to find out about Lyme illness are:

  • A tick should chew an animal to transmit Lyme illness
  • Generally, a tick should be hooked up for 36 to 48 hours so as to transmit Lyme illness (supply) and have “taken a blood meal”.

Meaning when you discover a tick in your canine that has not bit them but, the possibility 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 realize it hasn’t been hooked up for over 24 hours, it’s not possible to inconceivable that your canine will contract Lyme illness.

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

What Sort of Ticks Could Chew 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
Photograph Credit score: DepositPhotos/KPixMining

Western black-legged ticks (additionally referred to 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 protect 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
Photograph Credit score: CDC/James Gathany

The Western Canine Tick, typically additionally known as the American Canine Tick, could be discovered throughout Washington, however is discovered primarily in japanese Washington and components of southwest Washington. 

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

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

It’s widespread to seek out larvae and nymphs (very tiny, early levels) 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
Photograph Credit score: Depositphotos/Willypd

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

They like woodland areas, medium top 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.

Delicate Tick

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

Delicate ticks should not have a tough shell and are formed like a big raisin.

Delicate ticks can transmit tick-borne relapsing fever. 

As a result of comfortable ticks often feed at evening. As a result of the bites are fast and painless, they usually stay hooked up 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 record it as a typical 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
Photograph Credit score: Depositphotos/smuayc

The brown canine tick is a reddish brown with a slender form compared to different ticks and doesn’t have a protect/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 commonest 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 could look diferent relying on life stage and gener. For extra tick photographs, see HERE and HERE.

How Dangerous Are Ticks in Washington State?

Ticks undoubtedly dwell 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 rising, ticks usually are not widespread in Western Washington.

I might say ticks usually are not 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 could choose up a tick when climbing these areas and take precautions.

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

Simply because that is the commonest time to seek out them, doesn’t imply your canine can’t choose up a tick at different instances of the 12 months although, particularly in Western Washington the place winter temperatures are extra delicate. 

How To Shield Your Canine From Ticks

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

Tick prevention is one of the best ways to protect you and your canine from contracting tick-borne ailments.

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

To attenuate the possibility 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 automotive, and while you return residence
  • 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 wish to burrow

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

Once I verify my canine for ticks, I really feel everywhere in the physique with my fingers. I think about the ares the place ticks are most certainly 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 defend from one).

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

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

For those who discover a tick hooked up to your canine, don’t panic.

You’ll be able to select to go to the vet however you don’t need to (go if you’re 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 ailments a tick could have.

Watch this video for the right solution 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.

For those who attempt to take away the tick however the head remains 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 at the very least a few weeks whilst you preserve 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 when you see indicators that your canine won’t be feeling nicely.

By maintaining the tick, you can too examine it nearer and use this tick identification information to assist establish what kind 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.

Figuring out what kind of tick you or your canine had been bitten by can inform you what widespread ailments that species of tick carries in your space.

Widespread Questions on Ticks within the Pacific Northwest

Under are some widespread questions individuals ask concerning ticks in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

Can Canine get ticks in Washington?

On this article, we’ve got 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 embrace 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 stop 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 widespread 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 drawback?

Are ticks current in Washington?  Sure. 

Does this pose a “drawback”? 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-about an issue in Washington State is all relative although.

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

As a result of instances of tick-borne ailments in Washington State are considerably much less, personally I might not say Washington has a “tick drawback”.

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 it’s possible you’ll 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. 

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

One attention-grabbing notice is that the Spokane Regional Well being District says  “This illness is transmitted to animals and people by blacklegged ticks (picture proper), often known as deer ticks, contaminated with the micro organism. Blacklegged ticks (which transmit Lyme Illness) usually are not native to the Spokane space and don’t dwell in Spokane County.” 

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

Any time you’ve gotten 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 acknowledged above, when you 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 could be completely no concert events and I might not take my canine to the vet.

For those who discover a tick hooked up to your canine, and that is your first expertise, I do assume taking your canine to the vet could be useful.

Your vet can speak to you in regards to the present instances they’re seeing in Washington State, and normal dangers of tick bites to your canine, to ease your thoughts. 

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

After you have been via this expertise as soon as, it’s possible you’ll resolve a vet go to is just not vital each time your canine is bit by a tick. 

Simply take away it and preserve it within the freezer in case your canine begins to behave sick so the tick could 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 after 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 seek out out what occurred, and what I discovered, when the tick head bought 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 are administered each day for a interval of 4 weeks. 

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

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

Remaining Ideas About Canine and Ticks in Washington State

Ticks are gross and it’s best to do every little thing you’ll be able to to stop them from getting on and biting your canine.

The one solution 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 usually are not a significant challenge in Western Washington so that you don’t want to fret as a lot about them there. Fleas are a method greater challenge in Western Washington.

It’s possible you’ll wish to use a preventative in your canine when you dwell or spend time in Western Washington for that motive, particularly spring via late fall.

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

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

Throughout tick season, it’s greatest to take the entire precautions you’ll be able to to stop 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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