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:
Immediately removing the tick (either you or your vet)
Thoroughly disinfecting the site of the bite
Checking the site of the bite over the next few days
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.
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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.