Let me explain how to remove a tick from a dog. And the best dog trick treatment to stop it from happening again.
WHAT IS A DOG TICK?
The common tick is a small arachnid from the superfamily "ixodoidea". They have been around for over 164 million years which is far longer than us humans who have been around (as homo sapiens) for about two hundred thousand years, or 1.8 million syears as some kind of 'early human' form.
WHAT DOES A DOG TICK LOOK LIKE?
They look like large fleas. As a type of arachnid, they are related to spiders, and they too have eight legs. Arachnids are not insects, they don't have antennae. They will get bigger, or engorged as they suck more blood from your pet dog so the legs may not be as easily seen. The more common types of ticks tend to like feeding on dogs, but humans can get ticks too. They can vary in color from dark brown to grey or greenish. They look similar to mites.
The Lone Star tick has very small larve. They are so-called as the female lone star tick has a white spot in the center of her back.
The American Dog Tick or Wood Tick are reddish-brown.
Over a dozen types of ticks occur in the US, the most common being the lone star ticks, blacklegged / deer tick, brown dog tick, winter tick and wood tick also known as American dog tick.
HOW DOES A DOG GET TICK BITES?
Different types of ticks live in different areas.Ticks cannot jump or fly, so they crawl from the shrub or grass onto a dog's body. They might crawl onto the paw or leg and work their way up the body.
- Wood ticks can be found in fields or woods
- Brown dog ticks tend to live in colder climes and can survive well indoors so they might be found in dog kennels, on curtains, walls, rugs, furniture and hiding in cracks
WHY DO I HAVE TO REMOVE A TICK FROM A DOG
Dog ticks can carry diseases. They are good at carrying diseases because they tend to lurk unnoticed and suck blood and feed slowly. For example:
- One of the most common is ehrlichiosis which is spread by the brown dog tick. Ehrlichiosis may cause lethargy, fever, lameness and bleeding.
- The lone star tick may transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and ehrlichoiosis
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms may include a rash on your ankles or wrists, body aches, diarrhea, chills, fever, headache, vomiting, nausea and fatigue
- Tularemia symptoms include a skin ulcer at the site of the bite, swollen lymph glands, headache, fever, chills, fatigue
- For any of these symptoms, go and see your doctor and don't forget to tell him or her that you have or might have been bitten recently.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK FROM A DOG?
- Look all over your dog for any ticks, especially if they have been playing outside.
- If you see a tick, remove it immediately
- Do not use your bare hands to avoid any risk of infection from the tick secretion. Grap some tweezers and hold onto the tick tightly - try and grab the tick nearest the skin. Make a firm pull of the tweezers to pull it out. Try to pull it out straight, without twisting or stretching the tick
- If you don't have a set of tweezers to hand, use a tissue
- Flush the tick down the toilet or stick them to a piece of tape before you dispose of them.
- If you want to keep the tick in order to have it identified, you can put it into a little vial of alcohol. This might be a good idea
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Apply an antiseptic cream to the bite area
- Watch out for any signs of fever, lethargy or illness in the next few days - for your dog and for yourself. Some illnesses can incubate for up to two weeks after the tick has bitten
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT TICK BITES ON DOGS
- After any hike or walk in a wooded or grassy area, check your dog for any ticks.
- If you find a tick, remove it straight away (see above)
- Use anti - tick and flea treatment available from vets, online and from good pet stores. Follow the instructions carefully
- Keep dog bedding clean
- Keep your garden tidy : mow your lawn and remove weeds and old piles of wood and other garbage which may get damp and harbor infestations
- If you think you have an infestation of ticks, get in touch with your local pet control company
Dogs will also check themselves, licking clean any scratches or dirt and even having other dogs checking them out.
WATCHING OUT FOR DOG TICKS
Finally, try not to be too paranoid about the likelihood on getting ticks on your dog. It's easy to panic and stop taking your dog for walks in wooded areas or over checking and cleaning all the dog bedding. Relax, use common sense and develop a careful but not overly paranoid routine of checking out your dog and keeping good hygiene and you should protect your two-legged friend.