As summer time and warmer weather approaches, Ticks often become an issue for many pets and their people. Ticks can infect your dog with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne diseases. Learning to identify ticks is also wise; the brightly colored tick on the left carries Lyme Disease. If your pet loves the great outdoors — particularly for those that enjoy roaming the woods and trails — be sure to check your pet’s skin and hair coat thoroughly especially the area around their ears and neck. If you spot the pesky, little blood suckers, try to remove them as soon as possible! Ticks that has burrow into your dog’s skin can be tricky to remove. Dr. Carol offers a few tips to safely remove ticks, such as the harmful tick, pictured to the right that transmits Lyme Disease.
- First put on a pair of rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with the tick.
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick by its head at the point where it’s attached to your pet’s body.
- Gently pull the tick away from the skin, but do not twist. Make sure you remove the entire tick, because leaving tick body parts behind, under your pets skin can cause an infection.
- Clean the bite area with an antiseptic, such as alcohol and wipe your tweezers well with rubbing alcohol. Place the tick in a glass jar with a couple inches of rubbing alcohol and close the lid.
Be sure to ask your vet identify the tick so you know whether or not you and/or your pet are at risk or if it’s harmless, like the wood tick in this photo. Contact your vet if the skin around the tick bite remains irritated. To protect your pet during tick season (usually April through September), use a tick-preventive product and consider vaccinating your pets for Lyme disease. There is also a Lyme Disease Vaccine available for people, which is a valid consideration for those living in and/or traveling through endemic areas of the country.