Wet & Wild: Adventure Safely
Keep you and your pet safe this summer.
No matter where you live or your dog’s lifestyle, it is important to take proactive steps to keep them safe from the dangers of ticks all year long.
There are thankfully many options available for protecting dogs; the best and safest tick prevention medication will depend on your dog’s unique needs. It can be very helpful to speak with your veterinarian about which product is most suitable for your pup.
In East Tennessee, if you walk in grassy or wooded areas, make sure you are checking your dog’s fur after each outdoor excursion. Run your fingers down to their skin and wash/brush out any dirt that could be concealing a tick. Check your own clothes too to ensure you’re not carrying the parasites into your home after a walk. Using a lint brush to try to catch them before they bite and fall off in your home is another good trick on both your dogs and the humans in your house.
What To Do If You Find A Tick On Your Dog
If you find a tick on your dog, it’s important to act quickly and safely. You can either try to remove the tick yourself or take your dog to your nearest pet urgent care or an emergency pet hospital to seek the assistance of a veterinary professional.
If you choose to remove the tick from your dog, follow the steps below:
Use tweezers (or a tick remover instrument recommended by your veterinarian) to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible removing the whole head and body.
Pull the tick straight out with slow and steady pressure. (If the head of the tick is left in the skin, it can cause an infection and still transmit disease, so make sure the whole body is removed.)
Once the tick is removed, place it in a sealed container so that it can be tested for diseases that it may have been carrying.
Clean the area of your dog’s skin with soap and water then apply a pet-safe antiseptic cream, spray, or gel.
Contact your veterinarian for advice on next steps. They will likely ask you to bring the tick to their clinic for testing.
If testing indicates that your dog has been exposed to a tick-borne disease, your vet will formulate a recommended treatment plan. Depending on the disease, this treatment may include antiviral drugs or antibiotics.
Finally, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog for any signs of illness over the following weeks. If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or health, take them to your local urgent care or emergency pet hospital right away.