Dogs and Ticks
Dogs and ticks should not mix. Tick bites can trigger allergic reactions, result in blood loss and expose dogs to a variety of serious diseases including; Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted- Fever, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and others. Because of the dangers presented by tick bites, it is important for all dog owners to be familiar with safe methods for tick detection, removal and disposal. According to the CDC, there were 28,000 cases of Lyme disease in the United States in 2013, with Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts leading the way. The months of May, June, July and August are the busiest times for Lyme cases reported.
Checking Your Dog for Ticks:
Because the combination of dogs and ticks can result in a variety of health problems, every dog should have regular tick checks. To check for ticks, use the following procedure:
1. Run your fingers through the dog’s hair. Examine the entire body from head to tail.
2. Check for bumps on the skin. Depending on its species and how much blood it has consumed, a tick can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence, as large as a grape or any size in between.
3. If you find a bump, part the dog’s fur so that you can examine it. Ticks are usually brown or black, but a tick that is very full of blood can appear light gray.
4. Be sure to check the whole dog. Make sure you don’t forget to check under the legs, between the toes, behind the ears and around the tail.
Removing a Tick
To help decrease the likelihood of an attached tick passing a tick-borne infection to your dog, you need to remove the parasite as soon as possible. While removing ticks with tweezers is possible, it is safer and easier to detach the parasites with a two pronged tick remover.
To remove the tick with a remover, follow these steps:
1. Place the tick remover on the dogs skin closest to the tick..
2. Slide the notch on the remover under the tick until the parasite detaches from the dog’s skin.
3. Check to be sure there are no pieces of the tick remaining in the skin.
4. Wash the site of the tick bite with soap and water, and wash your hands.
5. If the dog develops a rash at the site of the bite, pieces of the tick remain in the skin after removal or the pet has other symptoms, contact your pet’s veterinarian.
Once you have removed the tick, you can dispose of it or save it in a sealed plastic bag or container for identification by a veterinarian. According to the CDC, safe methods of tick disposal include the following:
• Placing the tick in a sealed container and throwing the container in the garbage.
• Immersing the tick in alcohol.
• Flushing the tick down a toilet.
• Wrapping the tick in tape and throwing it in the garbage.
To avoid potential exposure to infected blood, do not squeeze or crush the tick.
Why do you need to carefully remove ticks from pets and humans?
Tick bites can trigger allergic reactions, which can expose pets and humans to a variety of serious diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and others. Because of the dangers presented by tick bites, it is important for all dog owners to be familiar with safe methods for tick detection, removal and disposal.
it’s also extremely important to use a preventative tick treatment for your pets to help avoid fleas and ticks. Click here for a great tick treatment product.