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How to remove a tick from a dog

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It's a common scenario: you and your dog go outside to enjoy a walk through the woods, fields or park, and then return with a few eight-legged stowaways. Ticks! In addition to the irritation and itching from the bite, some ticks can transmit diseases. So, despite the tick's love of "following" with your dog, this is one social interaction you'll definitely want to "unfollow" from! Here are some basic facts about ticks and how to remove a tick from your dog.

1. Understand the checkbox

Ticks are not like fleas—they do not hop or hop from host to host. And they are not like flying insects; You won't find wings on a tick. Instead, ticks wait in grassy or overgrown areas, or in areas with bushes/bushes.1 The tick waits on the vegetation with its front legs outstretched, hoping that a potential host will pass by. (This behavior is known as "questing.") This is why ticks are often found on your pet after outdoor adventures—even in the yard. Ticks can also detect the presence of a potential host by their breath or body heat. They are quite difficult!

2. Check your dog

After a walk outside, take a few minutes to feel your dog all over, looking for the telltale sign of a tiny bump that could be a tick. (Bonus: Your dog gets a much-needed massage!) Hand palpating is usually more effective than a visual check, since your dog's fur may be difficult to see. A fine-tooth comb, such as a flea comb, can also be helpful. Also check your dog's face for ticks.

3. Identify the tick

  • Eight legs. It's easy to make the mistake of calling all the little crawling creatures "bugs." But ticks are not insects; they are arachnids, a class of animals that includes spiders, mites and scorpions. This distinction is important because arachnids have eight legs, not six like insects. This may help you when you are trying to determine if it is a tick; if it doesn't have eight legs, it can't be a tick. In addition, ticks do not have antennae.
  • Which? There may be several different types of ticks on your dog, which may vary depending on location. Regardless of the type, you need to remove the tick quickly. You'll often find hard-bodied ticks on dogs, such as Wood's ticks (American Dog ticks), Deer ticks, Lone Star ticks, and Brown Dog ticks. All these mites have a similar appearance, but their size varies from 3 to 5 mm. 2

4. Uncheck

If you find a tick on your dog, but it is crawling, you can safely get rid of it without taking any further action. (Note: Do not touch the tick with your bare hands.) A tick bite does not happen quickly, like a horsefly bite or a bee sting—it takes quite a long time for the tick to bite.

If you find a tick that has taken root and attached itself to your dog's skin, remember these tips:

  • Use clean tweezers or tick remover to carefully pull the tick out of your dog.
  • Try using one slow stroke to remove the entire tick body in one piece.3
  • When removing, keep the tick as close to the dog's skin as possible.
  • Clean the bite area with an antiseptic and then check the area for further irritation.
  • If desired, the dead tick can be stored in alcohol; this may be helpful if your dog begins to show signs of tick-related illness.

How to remove a tick from a dog if you don’t have tweezers? If you're on the go and don't have the right tool, you can still remove the tick by pulling it out with your fingers. Again, grab the tick near the dog's skin and use a cloth or plastic glove to avoid touching the tick.

5. prevention

So now your dog is tick free; How do you keep him in this state? One option is to keep your dog indoors during tick season, but this is not always practical. Many people enjoy spending time outdoors with their dogs, so we need other ways to prevent ticks.

  • Bathing. It is not always easy to spot ticks on a dog, especially if it is a long-haired breed. Consider bathing him with a flea and tick shampoo designed to kill ticks soon after they come into contact with the suds. This is a good way to try to get rid of ticks that are not easy to find.
  • Tick ​​repellents. A tick collar or spot treatment for ticks can provide your pet with extended protection against parasites. This stops ticks before they become a problem.
  • Homemade spray. Although you may find a tick or two in your home, they probably just gave someone a ride and snuck in that way. It is unlikely that you have a tick infestation in your home in the sense of a flea infestation.4 However, if you want peace of mind knowing your home is tick-free, consider using a home and carpet spray that kills ticks.
  • Yard spray. Your lawn is where ticks are most likely to hide, so keeping the grass short can repel them. Another way to repel ticks is to use a yard and garden spray, which can kill existing ticks and prevent new ones from entering your yard.

If you have difficulty, you can always ask your pet's veterinarian to remove the tick or examine the bite site if it requires further attention. Also, be sure to consult your veterinarian when choosing a shampoo, collar, or tick repellent.

1. “Common Ticks,” Illinois Department of Public Health, https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/structural-pest-control/common-ticks.

2. “How to get rid of ticks,” Pests.org, 2020, https://www.pests.org/get-rid-of-ticks/ 2020.

3. “Fight Fleas and Ticks Naturally,” Drweil.com, https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/pets-pet-care/fight-fleas-and-ticks-naturally/

4. Taylor, Glenda and Vila, Bob. “It’s decided! What to do if you find ticks in the house,” Bobvila.com, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/ticks-in-the-house/

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