New Dog Owner's Tips: How To Check And Remove Ticks From Your Pet
One of the things you will have to do as a new dog owner is to check your dog for ticks – especially after hikes in the woods and other places where ticks thrive. Ticks like to feed on blood and then move to a spot where they can give birth to more ticks. The biggest problem is that when ticks are done eating, they can inject a poison into your dog and make it sick. If you are a new dog owner who has never had to worry about checking a dog for ticks, here is how to do it.
Feel the Skin
You can have a hard time seeing ticks on your dog. They can get down under the coat of hair and hide in spots like between the toes and in the ears. The best way to inspect for the ticks is by using your hands. Rub your hands along the dog's body to feel for bumps. When you feel a bump, separate the hair on the dog so you can see down to the skin to tell what is causing the bump. Ticks are oval in appearance with several legs sticking out from the body. The tick can be small and hard to see, or it can be as big as a fingernail once they have become engorged with blood.
You can get a tick removing tool that looks like a spoon with a "V" at the tip of it. Slide the "V' section up under the tick's entire body and tilt the spoon back. The ticks body and head should come right off of the dog. You don't want to use something like tweezers. Tweezers can break the body from the head of the tick, and the head part will keep burrowing into the skin on your dog. This could lead to a nasty infection. Wrap the tick up in toilet paper and flush it down the toilet to get rid of it.
Word of Caution: You don't want to handle the tick with your bare hands. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which some ticks carry on the exterior of their bodies in certain areas of the country, can spread to you through cuts and sores on your fingers and hands. So, always make sure you wear gloves when removing the ticks.
Inspect Bite Mark
You should keep an eye on the bite mark for a few days. If the mark starts to become red and inflamed, it means your dog is having a reaction to the tick bite. You should take the dog to a veterinarian right away before the condition gets worse. A veterinarian will have the knowledge and medicine to treat your dog properly to help keep it from getting ill. Visit a center such as the Orange Grove Animal Hospital for more information.