Ticks are small external parasites that live on blood of mammals, birds and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases like Lyme disease, Q fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever and African tick fever.
Some of the ticks are the American dog ticks, Brown dog ticks, deer ticks, bear ticks, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks, Lone star ticks, and Gulf Coast ticks. But the common ones that are affecting humans, dog and cats are the dog ticks.
Dogs are prone to dog tick bites and tick borne diseases. Ticks can crawl onto dogs when they go out in your yard and bring ticks into your home. Tick bites on dogs are hard to detect unless you check your dog very carefully.
Ticks satisfy all their nutritional requirement on blood. A female tick can lay up to 3,000 eggs in her lifetime. and undergo three primary stages of development to larval, nymphal and then adult. When the larvae emerge, they feed on small mammals and birds. After feeding, they detach themselves from the host and molt to nymphs on the ground. This is when they feed on larger hosts and molt into adults ticks. The male ticks feed very little but occupy themselves on larger hosts primarily for mating.
Tick borne diseases are caused by infection with a variety of pathogens and ticks can harbor more than one disease causing agent. Therefore a tick patient can be infected with more than one
pathogen at the same time, making it very difficult to diagnosis and to treat.
Deer ticks are dependent on white tailed deers for reproduction. The female adult tick needs a large three day blood meals from the deer before she can reproduce and lay her 2,000 or more eggs. The abundance and distribution of deer ticks correlated with deer densities. If you go hunting, deer ticks can crawl onto you, feed on you and in turn, you can end up with some kind of tick diseases.