It’s that time of year again folks. The warm weather arrives, and so do the horrible little beasties that plague our animals. Ticks can cause disease by biting an animal or a human, allowing bacteria to be transmitted. If your animals go outside, or are in contact with other animals that go outside, it’s very possible, that in woods, grassed areas and weedy ground, they will come across ticks.
Check your cats and dogs for ticks when they come indoors, and remove them with advice from your vet when you see them.
With eight legs, ticks are very like spiders, but they suck blood. Gardens can have many hidden in the grass, especially in areas close to the countryside. Spring to Autumn are the common months for ticks to appear, although you can find them all year round.
We are usually able to see a tick quite easily, although we tend to notice them when we pet our animals. They are often big enough to see. When you find a tick, it might feel like a skin tag, until you realise what it is
Check mainly around the head, neck, feet and ears. Brushing can help remove ones that aren’t latched on, but professional style removal is best.
How to remove them.
Removing ticks is the best option, although many do fall off on their own. Due to the diseases they carry, a speedy removal reduces the risk of disease getting hold. We do have to make sure we don’t squeeze the body of the tick, or let its head get stuck, as that can increase risks of infection due to blood from the tick passing to your pet.
The twist method is the best option and there are little tick removal sticks in many pet shops, although tweezers might help in a pinch, however, they are harder to manipulate and we do need to know it is actually a tick we are trying to remove, and not a skin tag.
What Else can Pet Owners Do?
People who live in areas where ticks are common, tend to use a treatment from their vet to help keep them away or kill them if they latch on. Ask your vet for spot treatment or suggestions for the area you live in. Not all treatments are suitable for all pets, so do take advice.
Please don’t be tempted to use a tick treatment for a dog on a cat. It might kill your precious fur baby.