It’s important to keep your pets tick free for their own safety. But most of us have adventurous little critters that want to run and play in the grass, leaves, and wooded areas where ticks are just waiting to drop off their perch and right onto your pet! Here are a few things you should know about ticks and your pets.
Ticks Are Disease Carriers!
It’s easy to underestimate the dangers of ticks since they are such small insects, but they actually pose a great threat to us and our animals, since ticks often carry diseases. Diseases that ticks can transmit to animals include Lyme Disease, which is transmitted by the deer tick and causes symptoms similar to that of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is primarily found in New England and the West is a disease that causes depression, fever, rashes, skin hemorrhages, and joint disease. Dogs who live in wooded and mountainous areas often are at risk for this disease. Other possible diseases include Ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection, and Babesoisis, a blood disorder.
Safe Tick Removal.
It’s important to check your pets often for ticks, especially during tick season and if they have been outdoors. The most common places ticks like to hide on animals are:
The following are the proper steps to help you safely remove and dispose of a tick you’ve found on your pet.
1. If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately! The longer it is attached to your pet, the greater the chance of disease. First to protect yourself, put on a pair of gloves so you do not have to touch the tick.
2. Use a pair of tweezers to carefully grasp the tick near the pet’s skin and gently pull until it lets go.
3. To help prevent inflammation and other infection, you may want to apply an antiseptic to the bitten area on your pet. Especially if it has left an open wound.
4. It’s important to properly dispose of the tick now that you have removed it from the animal. Acceptable methods include wrapping it in tissues and flushing it down the toilet or dropping it into a small container of rubbing alcohol. Don’t use water; ticks do not drown in water! And do not crush or burn them either, this may spread any infectious bacteria the tick may have.
Pet owners should brush their pets often to check for ticks, especially after walks and trips outside in the woods or mountains. If you thoroughly comb and check your pet over within a few hours of being outside, you can greatly help prevent your pet from becoming infected by a disease from a tick. The best thing you can do for your pet is use some kind of tick prevention on them. Frontline is considered the #1 recommended tick and flea preventative by veterinarians. Frontline Plus will kill up to 100% of ticks on your pet within 48 hours and continue to keep them tick free for an entire month! (And the same product also keeps your pets protected from fleas too!) Many people enjoy ordering such products online because it’s so simple and reliable.