Ticks – how to find and what to do.

Tick

Ticks are in our area and it is very important that you check your pet on a regular basis for ticks.  If found they must be removed properly.

How to check your dog for ticks.

Starting at the muzzle, run your hands systematically over your pet’s body, working your way from muzzle to tail.   Be sure to check in the ears and between the pads.   Then have your pet roll over and check their stomach carefully.

If you feel a bump, separate the hair so that you can get a closer look.  Make sure it is a Tick.

You will know it is a Tick by the colour (grey or tan) and you may be able to see where the head is buried in your pet’s body.   If it has been feeding on your pet for a while, it will be fat and balloon like. You may not be able to see where the head is attached.   If in doubt PLEASE go to your vet.

This is a well fed Tick.  Remember not all ticks will look this big.

This is a well fed Tick. Remember not all ticks will look this big.

SO you have a Tick. Now what?

You will need a pair of pointed tweezers (not the flat ended ones), or there are now tick removal tools.  Also, cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol, soap, water and either an empty jar with a tight lid or a Ziploc bag.

Step 1 – Clean the tweezers or tick removal tool with the rubbing alcohol.Tick%20tweezers

Sept 2IMPORTANT – Try not to touch the Ticks body at all.   Get the tweezers as close to under the Ticks head as possible.  Try to get the tick as far up the tweezers as possible in order to get leverage.  You will probably want to put pressure on your pet’s skin so it does not tent up.  Now 1 – 2 – 3 – close the tweezers tight and pull straight up and away from your dog.

WAIT!!!!  Before you go .. EWWWWWWWWW and fling this disgusting little thing across the room.  Remember it is still ALIVE and can attach again to any member of your family.  2 or 4 legged.  We DO NOT WANT THAT!   Place it in the jar or Ziploc bag and SEAL TIGHTLY.  Put it in fridge until you can get it to your vet for testing.

Step 3 – Clean the area on your pet where Tick was removed.   Rubbing Alcohol will work, but it will also sting.  You are probably not your pet’s best friend right now anyway, so some gentle soap and water will do the trick.

Step 4 – Keep an eye on your pet, especially the area around where the Tick used to live.  Watch for infection, localized redness and swelling.  A little is normal; after all you just pulled another living creature from your pet.  Also keep an eye on their general appetite and behaviour.   If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please contact your vet.

It is also that time of year to discuss with your vet the options available to you so that you can prevent ticks.

Author – Morag Willcox –  York Professional Pet Sitting

Your Partners In Pet Care – since 2000

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