View Full Version : Some dogs get ticks, some don't?

Sep. 2, 2009, 01:39 AM
Has anyone noticed this, or is it just luck of the draw? My sample size is tiny, so I can't judge, but currently my cocker spaniel has had two ticks to Pirate's none in the time we've had them both and they've been in tick-heavy areas, so I was just wondering if there's something about certain dogs that attracts ticks more readily than others. (Much the way some people seem to get bitten much more by mosquitoes than other folks.)

The most recent time both dogs had been dosed with K9 Advantix and Foxy managed to pick up a tick anyway - I'm not sure why that was as we followed the directions for application and dosing. We spotted it right away, though, so perhaps it'd just taken a bite and hadn't died yet? Anyway - the big difference I can think of right off the bat is coat type - Foxy has very curly 'hair' type fur that doesn't really shed, where Pirate has a double coat which is wiry black guard hairs over areas of very soft white/grey downy fur. This means it's actually relatively easy to get down to his skin most places (except when he's shedding) but can be very difficult to get down to Foxy's skin because of the way the hairs cling together - maybe that provides some shelter/cover for the ticks?

I was actually expecting Pirate to be more likely to have problems of the two, because he wasn't entirely happy about having the stuff put on so it didn't all get applied properly. But I checked him over very carefully several times, and nothing.

Just curious, anyway, thought I'd post and see if anyone knew anything. :)

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:09 AM
I use Advantix also on my two GSPs. This year I found one (dead) tick on one of the girls and that was months ago. They go out with me at least twice a day and run in the pastures. We had a pretty wet spring so one tick is pretty good. We'll see what fall brings, but so far so good.

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:17 AM
I'm not sure but I've always thought of it more as a coloring issue based on my experiences with my grey horse. He gets so many ticks and is always the first one to attract horse flies compared to my darker horses. We'll go on a trail ride with my grey horse and another darker horse and he will literally have 20 ticks on him while the other horse has maybe 1 or 2. They use the same fly spray, etc so I don't know why he gets so many. It's probably just a coincidence but it is kind of weird. He's the only light colored horse in the barn so I don't know if it's a body chemistry or body coloring thing.

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:26 AM
I don't think they've proven any specific reason that some mammals attract more bugs/arachnids than others.
Wish they could figure that out, since I'm one of those mosquito magnet people.
With ticks I'm nnot sure since they don't really have any specific criteria for a host. Whatever walks by that they can grab is good for them. Some have done some tests as to color being a factor...that lighter mammals are more visible and get more ticks/fleas. But then that could be that lighter mammals are more easy to see ticks and fleas on. Ticks aren't really working by sight or even heat...they'll grab onto a rubber boot going by. They climb to the tops of grass or leaves and holding on with their back set of legs they'll wave their front ones and whatever brushes them they grab onto. Whether it's a horse's tail, a nose lowered to graze or a leg. If whatever they grab isn't edible (like a boot) after they crawl around a while looking for a meal spot and not finding one, they''ll drop off and try again.
If one of your horses has a longer tail, that could be a reason for more ticks. In tick heavy areas it's a good idea to clip/bang/pull a tail's length up above the height of brushing the grass/ground. Also try Equi-Spot for some tick control. It states it's good for fly repellent too, but frankly I never noticed any improvement from lack of flies after using that. But I did notice that using the equi-spot and applying it only to the back of each leg from hoof to knee, the dock of the tail and the poll of the head it kept ticks off my horses back when I was boarding them in a tick-heavy property. Every other horse there got ticks, but mine and one other that were using equi-spot never got a single tick. And oddly enough we were using it for fly control and saying, "Well this stuff doesn't work at all!" until we both compared notes and noticed we were the only owner not yanking ticks off our horses.
Now I don't get any at home, but my horses are in a dirt paddock almost all the time and my grass paddock is kept mowed low enough to discourage ticks. (ticks need shade, prefer damp. Sunlight isn't something they like, they prefer long grass)

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:37 AM
Our dogs were average as far as picking up fleas and ticks, but one sheltie seemed to be a flea magnet, we could not keep them off her, when the other dogs didn't have any fleas on them.

I don't know if she got into rabbit holes more, or it was just her, but there was a definite difference.
At that time we had an aussie, a norwegian elkhound, two small miniatures and one toy poodle and a saint bernard, plus several cats, all under the same management, at that time tile floors, washing dog bedding often, dips and dusting dogs and bedding regularly.

I think that some dogs do attract more parasites.:yes:

Sep. 2, 2009, 10:44 AM
I have a small sample size to study also but I've wondered this as well. Our yellow lab will usually get at least one tick a year even with regular use of K9 Advantix. Our black lab mix has never had a tick in his entire life. They go out in the same back yard and the black lab mix is the one always rummaging around the bottoms of our river birches looking for frogs - so if anyone was going to get a tick, I'd think it'd be him. But nope... always the yellow lab :) The yellow lab has a much thicker down coat than the lab mix so obviously that doesn't help keep the ticks away for him.