Ticks are becoming more and more common in the Maritimes, and it’s time to have “The Talk,” the “Tick Talk.” Mainly due to warmer weather year-round, the more ticks jumping around means there is a higher chance of having a tick bite and/or having a tick born disease transmitted to you or your pet. Here is everything you need to know about the Tick Talk.
Can ticks harm my pet?
Yes, ticks can irritate the site of the bite. If an infected tick bites your pet, there is a risk of disease transmission.
How do I know if my dog has ticks?
It’s important to check your pets for ticks after you’ve spent any time outdoors.
- Feeling a small bump on the skin? Be sure to part their fur and take a closer look.
- Finding a tick in your home, either between the bed sheets, carpet, or on the floor. This is a sign that a member of your family or your pet, brought a tick into the home.
- Excessive head shaking; ticks will attach to moist and low areas, and many times found around the ears and face, causing discomfort.
- Tick bite symptoms include fever or fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, lameness or other unusual symptoms. Contact your veterinarian if you find a tick or your pet if not feeling well.
- They have scabs; if the tick detaches, a scab may form from the open bite wound.
How to remove a tick:
- Wear gloves and avoid any direct skin contact to the tick.
- Tick Twister:
- Choose the suitable hook according to the size of the tick.
- Engage the hook by approaching the tick from the side, until it is held.
- Lift the hook very slightly and turn it, the tick detaches by itself after 2-3 rotations.
- If a tick twister is not available, bring your pet to your local veterinarian for proper removal.
- If the tick was plucked off or accidentally scratched off by your pet, be sure that no mouthpiece was left inside of your pet at the site of the bite.
- Once removed, kill the tick by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol.
- Save the tick in a sealed container or plastic bag, for your veterinarian to identify.
- Keep an eye on your pet for any unusual symptoms.
If you find a tick on your pet or if your pet is acting unusual, please contact your veterinarian and follow their recommended tick protocol.
Written by Moncton Animal Hospital