How do you take a tick off a dog?
If you do find a tick on your dog while checking them, Bernal says you should spread their fur and use fine-point tweezers to try and grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Be careful not to pinch your pup in the process.
“Once you’ve grabbed the tick, pull it out slowly in a straight, steady motion to make sure you get the entire tick and don’t leave anything behind that could lead to infection,” she says. If you have trouble removing the tick yourself, you should seek the help of your veterinarian, she adds.
As much as you may want to burn it and forget it ever happened, Bernal says the better idea is to place the tick in a jar (with a lid screwed tight) with a label of when you found it. That way you can monitor for symptoms and if anything adverse should arise, you’ll have the source and the start date.
How do animals get ticks?
Whilst they could be found in some gardens, particularly in more rural areas, ticks are most commonly found in vegetation in areas such as woodland, meadows and moors. When they are looking for a new host to attach to, they are described as ‘questing’ and will wait on low branches and leaves to attach to any animal brushing past.
Unlike flea bites, which cause animals to desperately itch and scratch, tick bites often don’t irritate dogs (this is part of the problem – dogs often won’t alert you to the fact they have been bitten, and meanwhile the tick is able to feed for days).
However, some dogs can react to tick bites, tell-tale signs can include red and inflamed skin at the site of attachment, and it can sometimes lead to a skin infection.
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Tick bites can not only be painful for dogs but can transmit disease and infection. It is important to use tick prevention medication on dogs and to check them regularly for ticks. If you find a tick bite on a dog, it should be treated right away to lessen the chance of disease or infection. The tick should be removed and the area washed and treated with an antibiotic. The dog should be monitored for any signs of infection or adverse reaction.
Ticks are usually not easy to see at first, especially if the dog has long or dark hair. Once the insect starts to feed, though, it will become enlarged and should be easier to spot. Even if the dog has a thick coat, if you run your hands gently through the fur, you should be able to feel the tick, like a small lump or pimple on the dogâs skin.
The first thing you need to do is remove the tick. Wearing latex gloves, grab the tick as close to the head as possible with a tweezers or tick removal tool. Slowly but firmly pull the tick upward, being careful not to twist it. If you twist or pull too hard and fast, the the head might come off and remain embedded in the skin. If this happens, it is important that the head be removed as soon as possible to avoid the risk of infection. With a calm dog, you might be able to remove the head using a small pin the same way you might remove a splinter.
Once the tick is removed, the areas around the tick bite on a dog should be washed gently but thoroughly with warm, soapy water. If the dogâs fur is thick or long, for maximum benefit, it might be necessary to trim the area around the bite before washing. After the area of the bite is washed and dried, it should be treated with a mild antiseptic cream to reduce the chance of infection. For the dogâs comfort, you might also apply a dab of hydrocortisone cream to ease any residual itching.
The area where you found the tick bite on a dog should be observed for the next few days. If the area of becomes swollen or if a rash appears, it could be a sign of infection. Should this occur, continue to wash the area of the bite and apply antibiotic cream at least once a day. If the signs of infection persist for more than three days or get worse, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian. Also, after finding a tick bite on a dog, if the dog should become lethargic or appear to be in pain, you should seek immediate veterinary attention because these could be signs of a disease or serious infection. Today, pet insurance is a great source for common (and not so common) treatments for your dog when they get sick. If youre concerned about your dogs health, pet insurance can help cover diagnostics, procedures, and medication when you need it most.