What Should You Do If You Find A Tick On Your Dog?

Most bugs are annoying in some way, but few are as outright dangerous as ticks. Ticks bite and latch onto their victims, sucking the victim's blood and often passing on diseases as they do so. If you find a tick on your dog, there are three primary things you need to do.

1. Remove the tick

There are a hundred home remedies out there for removing ticks, but many of them — such as applying Vaseline to a tick or burning it with a match — are not the safest. These can actually cause the tick to spit the blood back into your animal's veins, which increases the risk of passing on a disease. The best way to remove a tick from your dog is to use a pair of tweezers. The style with the flat metal ends works well. Grasp the tick's body, and pull it straight out. Do not twist as you pull, as this can result in some of the tick's mouthparts becoming stuck in your dog's skin. Flush the tick down the toilet after it has been removed. The sooner you remove a tick, the lower it's chance of passing on Lyme and other diseases to your pet.

2. Watch your dog for symptoms

The primary disease that ticks pass to dogs is Lyme disease, but there are other conditions, such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis, too. These diseases are caused by different pathogens, but their symptoms are similar enough that you do not need to worry about distinguishing between them. If you notice something is amiss, your vet can figure out which particular diseases is at play. Symptoms that indicate your dog may have caught something from the tick include:

  • Lethargy
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fever
  • Refusal to eat, or loss of interest in food
  • Confusion
  • Limping

3. Increase your tick prevention methods

If a tick managed to bite and latch onto your dog, that means you're not doing quite enough for tick prevention. If you are already using a tick preventative treatment, ask your vet to recommend a different one that is stronger. Make sure you are applying it as often as recommended — some products need to be applied monthly, and others last three months. You can also do things like trim back the weeds in your yard and have your lawn sprayed with insecticides to keep ticks away.

If you're unsure about your ability to remove a tick or think that your dog may have caught a disease from one, then visit a pet hospital like South Seattle Veterinary Hospital to have your dog taken care of. Finding a tick on your dog can be alarming, but if you follow the steps above, you'll have done the best you can by your pet. 

About Me

Working With Your Animal's Doctor

How long has it been since you took your pet to the veterinarian? Although many people underestimate the importance of regular veterinary care, a little early attention and preventative action can go a long way. We started focusing more and more on our pet's general health after they started to get older, and it was a little discouraging to see how much help they really needed. However, after we started making some changes, it was cool to see our animals blossom into happier, healthier animals. On this website, check out how working with your animal's doctor might help your pet to live a better life.



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