The Trouble With Ticks…
It is the time of the year where the sun is shining bright, the trees are in full bloom, and the forests are crawling with creatures. One in specific we want to address is the tick, which is an insect that is notoriously known for carrying Lyme disease and other contagious as well as harmful diseases. This insect is one that seems to be growing in numbers and we felt because of the fact that it is peak cottage and hiking season, that we would share a few tips and tricks for how to find, remove and what to do with them afterwards.
Locating The Tick:
It is very important that after every walk in heavily wooded area or areas with tall grass, that you thoroughly check your dog for any possible hitch hikers that are looking to make your dog into their next meal (as well as yourself). If you do not know what you are looking for, ticks can go undetected, which can be quite harmful in the long run. When looking for ticks, you’ll find a small bump (varying in size) usually shades of orange, grey, brown or black in colour (Some time only the legs are visible). Although the tick can attach itself anywhere on the body, the most common areas that they can be found on dogs is: the inside of their ears (an example shown below), on their face/head, on the stomach or grown area, on or around the paws, under the tail or in their arm/leg pit.
Removing The Tick
It is important that when removing the tick that it is done so properly. Many people have the instinct to simply try and pick off or pull off the tick, however this is not correct and can lead to infection. When the tick is simply pulled or ripped off the mouthpiece is often left in the skin, this can lead to infection. The proper way to remove a tick is to remove it with a counter-clockwise twisting motion, similar to unscrewing a screw. A great tool to have in your first aid kit is a tick remover, which is a tiny tool that allows the user to get right under the body of the tick and remove by twisting. If you do not have a tick remover close by another way to get the tick to unlatch completely is to get a paper towel or cloth with dish soap on it, then rub the tick with the dish soap in a circular motion. Ticks do not like the soap on them and will usually let go. Below is a video showing how to safely remove ticks.
What To Do Next
Rather than exposing of the tick you removed right away, put the tick in a small baggy or container (old pill bottles work great) and bring the tick or ticks to your veterinarian. This way the tick can be tested to see if it was carrying a harmful disease such as Lyme disease. This way you can be informed if your dog needs to be tested or treated for a disease because catching this disease as quickly as possible can be key to the wellbeing and survival of your four legged family member.
Do not let this stop you from bringing your dog out and about with you, just be sure to check them over after!
Enjoy your hike!!!
Tail Wags from the CompleteK9 Family :)