Tick, Tick, Ticks Everywhere!
Tis the season to be jolly and also on the watch for ticks. According to the vets in the area, ticks are generally worst during the first and last few rains of the season. Ticks can be active on winter days if the ground temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect your dear Fido, please read the following information.
What are ticks?
Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids similar to scorpions, spiders and mites. All ticks have four pairs of legs (eight legs in total) as adults and have no antennae. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host, which can be an animal or a human.
How does a dog get ticks?
Ticks wait for host animals on the tips of grasses and shrubs. When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host. The ears, neck, skin folds and other crevices are areas of your dog’s body that might harbor a tick.
How can ticks be prevented?
There are effective monthly preventatives that are applied to the skin at the back of the neck. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate medication. Most of the local vets highly recommend Frontline Plus but others are available.
What do you do if you find a tick on you or your dog?
Use blunt tweezers or disposable gloves to handle the tick since ticks infesting dogs and other domestic animals can carry Lyme disease, or other diseases capable of infecting humans.
Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. This reduces the possibility of the head detaching from the body upon removal. Pull the tick straight out with a steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin, increasing the chances of infection. Continue applying steady pressure even if the tick does not release immediately. It may take a minute or two of constant, slow pulling to cause the tick to release. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water.
Home remedies such as applying petroleum jelly or grease, or touching the rear of the tick with a hot match do not work effectively and are not recommended. These techniques cause the tick to salivate and can actually increase the chance of getting a disease.
Taking the time to thoroughly check your pet each time they come inside, using a reliable anti-tick medication, and exercising caution when removing a tick should keep your dog tick-free and healthy. Of course, you always have the opportunity to exercise your dog indoors by coming to the Zoom Room. Check out our open gym times over the holidays!