Tick season has come for all dog owners. I hope you hate these evil, blood sucking parasites as much as I do. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease and other serious life threatening illnesses in dogs.

  • Prevention:

    One thing every pet owner can do to keep ticks from climbing onto your dog is to keep Fido out of tall grass and vegetation when walking. You can also keep vegetation and grass pruned and cut as low as possible in the yard. Topical shampoos and sprays are safe choices to repel ticks. Tick and flea collars are another option along with topical and oral medicines that repel and kill. It’s very important to monitor your dog’s health when using stronger tick products because some dog’s have become sick and even died from the use of these products. It’s also important to know that a tick has to be attached for at least 24 hours before it can transmit any disease.

  • Treatment:

    If your dog has short hair, you can manually go over their body with your finger tips to find ticks. After a walk in the woods, we would announce to our beagle that it was “tick time.” She would reluctantly walk into our well lit bathroom to get her special “massage.” The most we ever removed from Heidi was 18. If you are checking for ticks, you will usually find them on the ears, legs and inner thigh, but they can attach anywhere. To remove a tick, part your dog’s hair, grasp the tick’s mouth as close as possible to the SKIN with tweezers, and pull STRAIGHT out. Never grab by the body, or leave the body attached to your dog. It’s this removal part your dog won’t like. You may pull out a few hairs and it may pinch a bit, but afterwards you can give your dog a treat so he looks forward to it. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol. You can flush the tick down the toilet, but I took special glee in placing the tick between layers of paper towels and smashing the devil with a hammer! Just make sure the blood doesn’t splatter  anywhere, or come in contact with you or your dog.