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Pets and Ticks | Part 3

In previous blog posts, we’ve covered how to identify the most common ticks and the diseases transmitted by ticks. Now, it’s time to dig into what to do if your pet has been bit by a tick.

Remember that ticks are more common in dogs due to their limited personal grooming techniques, although both cats and dogs are susceptible to these pests.

If Your Dog Is Bit by a Tick

The basic steps for treating your dog that has been bit by a tick include:

  1. Immediately removing the tick (either you or your vet)

  2. Thoroughly disinfecting the site of the bite

  3. Checking the site of the bite over the next few days

  4. Treating any tick-borne diseases (as needed)

Find more information below.

1. Immediately Removing the Tick

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), your dog’s chances of contracting a tick-borne disease increase the longer a tick can feed. As such, immediately removing any ticks is critical.

When to Consult Your Vet

Consulting your regular vet is never a bad idea, but it’s important to note that transmission of diseases does not occur during all tick bites. If your dog has a tick attached, it won’t necessarily warrant a veterinarian visit, but you can have your vet remove and examine a tick bite if it makes you feel more comfortable.

How to Remove a Tick From Your Dog

When removing a tick from your dog, you should always protect yourself. Grab tweezers and some paper towels and put on a pair of gloves. Follow these critical pointers during the removal:

  • With tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin surface as possible

  • Pull the tick out using a straight-up motion

  • Be sure to remove the entire tick

  • Pull slowly to get the tick to release

  • Never just rip the tick off

  • Make sure the head is not left remaining in your pet

2. Thoroughly Disinfecting the Site of the Bite

Thoroughly disinfect the bite site once a tick is removed from your pet. You can trap the tick and either keep it in a safe place for later reference or dispose of it. You can have your vet test the pest for disease if you want.

Whether you keep or dispose of the tick, ensure you do so correctly, as they are very hardy and can reattach. Here are some options for proper disposal of these pests:

  • Wrap the tick in tape

  • Drown the tick in a bowl of rubbing alcohol

  • Flush the removed tick down the toilet

3. Checking the Site of the Bite Over the Next Few Days

To ensure no further irritation or infection, check the bite site throughout the following days. It is not necessarily a cause for concern if you notice some redness and itching. But, if you notice any of these symptoms, consider consulting your vet:

  • If your dog shows signs of pain

  • Any oozing or inflammation on the bite site

  • Any symptoms become worse

4. Treating Any Tick-Borne Diseases (As Needed)

Some dogs may show false negatives in early testing for tick-borne diseases, which is why many vets will wait around four weeks after the bite to test.

If your dog receives a positive lab test confirming it has been infected with any of the specific tick-borne diseases, your vet will begin treatment. Typically, this will include prescription antibiotics for your dog.

Learn More About Pet Safety with Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture

While here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, we specialize in acupuncture, our main priority is treating your pets with the aloha they deserve. That’s why we’re committed to helping you keep your pets safe through any means possible.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter for all of the latest tips and tricks to help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Of course, if you’re interested in what we do, you can learn more about the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. You can also schedule a video consultation with Dr. Kho, who can discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture.

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