Hunting: Keep Watch for Ticks on Dogs and Humans

Many Oklahomans experience hunting fever this time of year. They are just itching and scratching to get to their deer stands and pick out this year’s winner, or walk the grasslands in search of their feathered target.

While the hunting fever is hypothetical, without proper care, for hunters, and their dogs, the illness could become a reality. There are a few handy tips hunting enthusiasts should keep in mind to prevent disease from ticks, insect bites or consumption of sick wildlife. No matter how the hunting trip has gone the very first step after you return home must be to give your dog a thorough bath as ticks and various other insects can cling onto them during hunting, which over time can make them incredibly sick.  There are many sites like the PetAware website where you can find good shampoos and other bath and hygiene products for your dog, so make sure to use them to keep your dog healthy. Skout’s Honor NEW Probiotic Skin Care for Pets is designed to support your pet’s natural defenses against shedding, itching, dryness, hot spots and odor – for a naturally-balanced and healthier-looking skin and coat, Check This Out. Ticks can be very stressful to dogs as it disturbs their sleep. If it comes to a point where dogs cannot sleep because if the infestation, owners can use dog treats to help calm their pets until the problem is alleviated.  “Make sure your hunting dogs are up-to-date on their vaccines, especially rabies,” said Dr. Elisabeth Giedt, director of Continuing Education, Extension and Community Engagement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

Janni, a writer and a dog lover from TreeHousePuppies,  stated that we should “always keep an eye out for natural ingredients on natural puppy shampoos, as it is something you will want as much as possible of in the product you decide to bring home.” There are so many products in today’s market that you will sometimes find it hard to choose one. Often times we forget to check if the product has natural ingredients or none. This could prove to be very helpful as natural always seems to rhyme with safe.

Making sure that the dog is clean after every hunt is more of a necessity and if you wish to get a dog just for the sole reason of keeping them at home with your family when you’re out hunting, then check out these wrinkle dogs at to find the best dog for your family. ” Make sure you begin, or continue, heartworm prevention medications in consultation with your veterinarian.”

Consult with a veterinarian about tick control. Unlike fleas, some ticks remain active in cold weather. There are several options for tick control in dogs and your veterinarian may recommend topical or systemic tick control treatments. You can get tick shampoo for your dogs at The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends removing attached ticks with fine-tipped tweezers. If tweezers are not readily available, fingers should be shielded with tissue paper, a foil-covered gum wrapper or plastic sandwich bag before grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible, pulling upward with steady, even pressure.

Dogs should not be allowed to eat entrails, raw meat or other offal, as these can spread bacteria and parasites. Are you familiar with Simparica? It is a flea treatment with sarolaner as its active ingredient, for dogs and puppies six months and older, and weighing more than 2.8 pounds.

The hunters themselves should conduct frequent body checks for ticks during the hunt. Try to avoid wearing the same clothes on consecutive hunting days.

Minimizing the amount of insect bites, with long pants, long-sleeved shirts and odorless bug spray also is a good idea.

Once the animal has been harvested, hunters should avoid eating, drinking or smoking while cleaning the wild fowl or game.

“You should always wear gloves when handling or cleaning the carcass,” said Dwayne Elmore, OSU Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist. “Remove wide margins of tissue around all wounds and minimize contact with the brain or spinal tissues.” There is a ton of information on Canine Weekly around this topic of you are interested in exploring this more.

If abnormalities are seen in the intestines, abdominal cavity or chest cavity during cleaning, consider disposing of the entire carcass. Any abnormalities should be reported to the Oklahoma Wildlife Department of Conservation.

“Discard any meat that has come into contact with intestinal contents and try to protect the carcass from flies,” Elmore said. “Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.”

Gloves should always be worn while processing the meat, and tools, equipment and working surfaces need to be thoroughly washed and disinfected.

“Do not eat meat from wild game or fowl that appeared ill or abnormal,” Elmore said. “Promptly refrigerate or freeze any uncooked meat and properly wrap and store wild game separate from other foods.”

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