Tagged: “ticks”

Tick Season is Here!

Tick Season is Here!

Reprinted with permission from Carrington College

Ticks are small, resilient creatures. Not even frost in winter can eliminate them – they are able to return once the temperatures rise again. Now that spring has arrived, pet owners ought to remember these little pests can carry potentially deadly diseases. They enjoy hitching a ride on dogs, but can also easily jump from your pet onto you. However, you do not have to panic if you find one or more ticks on your beloved pet. As this guide from Carrington.edu points out, you can get rid of these little pests on your own before they have the chance to cause too much damage.

Remove the Tick

If you suspect your pet has ticks, do a thorough exam on your pet. Put on gloves and check inside your dog’s ears, under its armpits, between toes and around the face and chin. Ticks are black, brown or tan, and have eight legs. If you find one tick, continue searching to see if there are more. Remember that some ticks can be tiny – barely the size of a pinhead.

The next step is to get a pair of clean tweezers, grab the tick’s body as close to the head as possible and firmly pull it out of your pet. Disinfect the area where the tick was found and put the tick’s body in a jar filled with alcohol. Keep the jar in case you need to show the tick to your vet at a later date. That way, the vet can test the tick for any diseases that it may have transmitted to your pet.

Disinfect the area where the tick was found with alcohol to prevent infection. You may also want to consider applying a topical tick killer to your pet just to be on the safe side. Keep an eye on your dog just in case it may still develop a tick-borne disease. Symptoms may include arthritis or lameness, lethargy, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, neurological problems, anemia or breathing difficulties. Be aware that it can take 7 to more than 21 days before such symptoms can appear.

Clean the Home

If you suspect that your dog brought ticks into the house, take immediate action. Should you see ticks in the home, call a pest control company to eliminate these pests once and for all. If you are not sure if your home has ticks, vacuum the entire house and all your furniture and then place your vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag before disposing of it. Treat dog bedding, carpets and even your bedding with a store-bought tick killing solution.

In case you have a large yard, put up store-bought tick tubes or make your own. Mow the grass regularly and keep bushes cut back. If you have a smaller yard or an extensive tick warfare budget, you may want to build a tick barrier from mulch, stones or gravel between the wooded, bushy areas of your yard and your lawn. You may also want to consider removing any outdoor furniture, equipment or toys away from potentially tick-filled thicket.

If you found ticks on your dog, keep an eye on it for the next few weeks as some tick-borne diseases take as long as three weeks for symptoms to show. Take your dog to the vet if it loses its appetite, has difficulty moving or breathing, experiences neurological problems, has a fever and/or is fatigued. Thankfully, removing ticks in a timely manner minimizes the risk of infection and helps you and your pet avoid having to deal with potentially life-threatening illnesses.