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Top Tips for Safely Removing Ticks from Your Pet
Monday September 12th 2016
At some point throughout their lives, your pet is bound to end up with a tick, and so learning the safe and correct way to deal with them is essential knowledge for all pet owners. Ticks can be very unpleasant for your pet and can also carry many different forms of disease, therefore spotting and treating the tick as soon as possible is key.
How to spot them
Your pet can pick up ticks in a huge variety of places, but a ticks favourite place to situate themselves will usually be behind the ears, on the neck, the underside of the belly, or between the toes. These are the areas where there is the least hair possible, and also a good flow of blood below the surface of the skin.
Make sure that you are really on the ball with checking your pet for ticks, particularly on warmer days, so that you can find and remove them before they become embedded in your pets’ skin, making them harder to remove.
What they look like
One of the most crucial elements of being able to spot a tick on your pet is knowing exactly what they look like. Ticks can come in a huge range of sizes and colours. The size will usually depend on their age, and they will also be bigger if they have recently fed, however most ticks won’t tend to grow larger than the size of a fingernail. As their legs will be beneath the skin of your pet, their appearance will tend to resemble a small pebble which can range in colour from cream to a dark grey or brown.
Steps to remove the tick
- Put on a pair of protective gloves in order to prevent the transfer of any infectious agents the tick may be carrying.
- If possible, have someone else that the pet is comfortable with hold them to keep them calm throughout the process.
- Take a pair of sterilised tweezers and try to grab hold of the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Be sure not to squeeze too hard when doing this, if the tick is crushed, infectious fluids may leak onto your pet’s skin.
- With steady pressure, pull out the tick making sure not to twist as you do so, this could result in leaving parts of the tick behind underneath your pet’s skin.
- Place the removed tick in a container of rubbing alcohol in order to kill it and any diseases it may be carrying.
- Closely examine your pet to make sure that every part of the tick has been completely removed, if you think there may still be something in there, it’s best to consult your vet
- Wash the affected area of your pet’s skin off with antiseptic.
- Make sure to give your pet a treat for being so well-behaved.
Once you have attempted to remove a tick from your pet, make sure to keep a close eye on them for the next few weeks to ensure they aren’t displaying any symptoms such as fatigue, fever or loss of appetite, which could indicate infection. If you do notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet as soon as possible.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.