Ticks are annoying little bugs which transmit several diseases which can cause severe illness and even be fatal in some instances. Ticks generally attach themselves to their host’s skin, and suck blood to their heart’s content, dropping off days later. In the process, any bacteria that were present in its mouth infect the host and cause severe reactions. To remove a tick from your dog, make it a point to utilize the following tips.
• April to September is a time when dogs are especially prone to tick infestations. Make sure to keep your dog away from tick hotspots such as bushes, uncut grass, etc.
• Consult your veterinarian and find the most suitable tick preventive products to apply on your dog’s skin in order to avoid infestations.
• Give your dog a thorough inspection regularly, especially during the tick season. Ticks are known to accumulate around the eyes and behind the ears of your dog. Be extra careful when you are inspecting these areas.
• As the least invasive method, you can move the tick in a circular motion, preferably sticking to the same direction. As long as you make sure that the whole of the tick’s body is moving around, you can expect it to give up and detach itself from your dog’s body on its own in a minute or two.
This procedure might be difficult to apply immediately after the tick has attached itself to the dog, since it might not have a big enough body to rotate. In such a case, let the tick be for a few hours and then use the trick.
• A slightly invasive method of removing a tick from your dog involves the use of a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible. It is important to pull the tick straight out in a steady manner as yanking the tick away from your dog comes with the risk of leaving a part of the tick’s mouth lodged in your dog, leaving scope for an infection. If correctly done, you can expect the tick to release its grasp and detach itself cleanly in under a minute.
• It is crucial that you be very careful not to squeeze the tick’s body as it could result in the tick spilling its innards, along with bacteria into your dog’s body through its mouth, potentially causing infections.
• Remember to never use irritants or crude force to make the tick go away as it might result in the tick regurgitating its innards as mentioned above.
• As an added precaution, it is advisable to first clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol and then to dab some disinfectant, taking extra care around your dog’s eyes, to ward off infection.
• It is also a good idea to kill the tick in alcohol and store it in a plastic bag as you may need to identify the type of tick to your vet if your dog develops symptoms of sickness.
• Exposure of your skin to ticks may put you at risk of Lyme disease. Hence, remember to always wear protective gloves when handling those annoying bugs!