It is important for your dog’s health to remove ticks from him if you find them on him.  If you can remove a tick from your dog within 24 hours of it becoming attached to your dog, you can prevent many diseases.  It can be difficult to find ticks on your dog especially if your dog has black fur because ticks are usually black.  It is much easier to find ticks if your dog has white or blonde fur.  The first step to finding ticks on your dog is to use your fingers like a rake and move the fur against the grain so you can look at the skin level for ticks.  If you find a tick make sure it has legs.  People often mistake moles or nipples for ticks thinking that the tick has buried itself into the skin.  Ticks don’t bury themselves into the skin and every tick has legs.  Ticks come in different sizes from small to large.  Once you have found the tick it is important to remove the tick while it is alive.  This keeps the tick from releasing harmful bacteria into your dog’s system.  Do not burn the tick or use alcohol to remove the tick.  This will increase the release of bacteria into the bloodstream.  To remove a tick you need a pair of fine tipped tweezers or a tick removing tool. Do not grab the tick’s body but grab the tick right where the mouth parts enter the skin.  Pull the tick with firm, steady pressure directly outward.  Do not jerk or twist the tick.  It may take a few minutes to get the tick out, but with a firm, steady pressure the tick will come out.  After removing the tick, kill it by placing it in a jar of alcohol, freezing it, or burning it.  Clean your dog’s bite wound with an antiseptic.  You can also apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.  It is common for a dog to develop a rash or a welt where the tick was.  This is due to a reaction to the saliva.  A hydrocortisone spray may help alleviate the irritation.  Healing could take a week or more.  You should continue to keep the area clean until it heals.

 

Filed under: Dog Care

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