If you guessed “Tick” – you are right! This is something we see fairly commonly this time of year and often it is an incidental finding – this dog was in to have his teeth cleaned when we noticed the tick.
It is important to be on the lookout for ticks on your pets since they can carry and transmit significant diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If you find a tick on your pet it should be removed immediately. For more information about the life cycle of ticks and how to remove a tick from your pet please watch this short but informative video from Pet Health Network.
To remove this tick from this dog, we used a handy little tool from Lee Valley (http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=67728&cat=2,51555 ) . We were impressed with how well it worked to remove the entire tick – we checked the tick under the microscope afterwards to make sure the entire head and mouth had been removed.
Some things to remember about ticks on your pets:
- Check your pet frequently for ticks during warmer weather, especially after being in long grass and brush.
- Consider using a tick repelling product such as Advantix (for dogs only) or a product such as Revolution which will kill most ticks within 24-48hrs of attaching to your pet.
- Remove any ticks found on your pet as soon as possible. It is very important to remove the entire tick (head and mouth pieces) and to not squeeze the tick’s body (may force germs into your pet) when removing it. Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. If you are not comfortable removing a tick yourself, seek veterinary assistance.
- After removing the tick, clean the site with an antiseptic and monitor for signs of redness, swelling or discharge – contact us immediately if noted.
- Keep the tick you have removed by placing it in a small baggie or pill vial and put it in the freezer so it is available for future identification if needed.
- Contact us if you have any questions or concerns, if you think you may not have removed the entire tick, if there is any redness or swelling at the site of where the tick was attached or if there any changes in your pet’s behavior or wellbeing.