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What Time is It? It’s Time for Tick Talk!

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Bolty-Boy, the Yorkie-Poo guest blogger, here to dish on the topic of the day: Ticks! Nasty! But if you and your pet spend time outdoors this summer, particularly in woodsy areas, be prepared for encounters with these creatures.

If your pet does come into contact with a tick, the ASPCA has some great tips on how to remove it.

First, consider where you will dispose of the tick after its removal. Putting it in the trash or flushing it will not necessarily lead to its demise. You may want to save it for a few days in a screw top jar with some rubbing alcohol in case your pet falls ill from the bite and you have to give the tick to your veterinarian for testing.

Do not attempt to remove the tick without rubber gloves on. Ticks are known carriers of infective agents that can get into your bloodstream through breaks in your skin and through mucous membranes, especially if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

Enlist help when removing the tick.  Have someone on hand to keep your pet from squirming away.

Before removing the tick, treat the bite area with rubbing alcohol. Then, using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to your pet’s skin as you can. Steadily pull straight upward with some pressure and then place the tick in the jar. DO NOT twist or jerk the tick, as this can leave mouth-parts (gross!) embedded in your pet. Also, do not squeeze or crush the tick, as its fluids may contain infective organisms.

If the mouth parts do remain in your pet’s skin, and if the area does not appear red or inflamed, the best thing to do is to disinfect the area and try not to take out those remaining parts. Apply a warm compress to the site, which can help the body to expel them, but do not continually go at those remaining parts with the tweezers.

Thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water (yes, even if you were wearing gloves like I told you to!). Sterilize the tweezers with the alcohol or run them over a flame….carefully!

Over the next few weeks, keep a close eye on the bite area for any signs of infection. If redness or inflammation present, take your pet (and the jarred tick) to the veterinarian for evaluation.

A big shout out to aspca.org for these helpful tips!

 

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