Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Ticks and Your Dog

by Nahnhy (volunteer/supporter/owner of 2 Jindos: Bada, and Bomi)

(April 2021)

I found a total of 3 ticks on Bomi in one week (found one, she had a complete bath and multiple fur checks and 2 days later, found two more). Here is what I learned:Save the tick in rubbing alcohol and take it to your vet. My vet found a tick vector test (mine cost $176) where you send the tick in and it tests for all the diseases immediately. You don’t have to wait the 4 weeks, or have the dog give blood. If the tick is positive for anything, you can start treatment right away.

Doxycycline basically treats most if not all tick borne diseases. So b/c I sent the first tick in, it was negative for everything except lyme, we didn’t send need the other 2 ticks in …. b/c we started treatment immediately for the lyme. And doxy should kill everything else as well.

IDEXX was willing to let my vet send in the other 2 ticks and test them both at the same time for a total of $176. I don’t know if this is because they like my vet or because they are doing the same tests, so might as well do it on both vs one. So if you find multiple ticks, save them all (I kept them in all different containers) and turn them in and if you send them all in at once, see if they are willing to let do multiple tick vector test for the price of one.

“Back in the old days” (when I had my first Jindo), we always started all preventatives in May. Now with global warming (this is my biggest lesson learned), as soon as the weather gets warmer, you have to start immediately, even if it’s in February. Many vets are prescribing year round preventative. I won’t make the same mistake again of waiting.

Even though Bada and Bomi went to the same forest preserve, Bada had 0 ticks. I confirmed w/ the vet tech that ticks don’t like bright/white things….so they avoided Bada. If you hike in the summer, wear white and long sleeves.

IDEXX offers a # of tests. I worked w/ my vet to find the vector one but depending on your location, the types of diseases will vary. The one that tested for the diseases specific to the Midwest was $250 (blood from dog), so the vector one was a better deal financially. (Again, I was only able to opt into this one because I saved the tick in alcohol)
The vet wasn’t even aware the vector test was an option until they started digging around so having a great relationship w/ your vet or a vet tech is a huge help.

The tech told me ticks have a head like a corkscrew, so when you remove it, be careful to get all the bits out, otherwise an infection can start. For me, this is the most worrying part, and I had her checked at the vet the next day to ensure the wound was clean.

10 years and I NEVER had any tick bites on any dog! I adopt Bomi and she has 4 bites in 2 years!!! The first bite occurred while she was wearing the Seresto collar (I do NOT recommend that thing)! Ugh. Always learning.

Sharing this info for any of our colleagues that live in tick infested areas so you can save your money and stress!!