It’s tick season in California. Ticks and mosquitoes and other hungry insects that feed on blood are looking for your pets.
Once they’ve found a host, they can transmit bacterial diseases through their bites. The western black-legged tick transmits Lyme disease. There are many other types of ticks that can cause serious health conditions from infection.
While you’re out for walks on trails and in fields or even on the beach, ticks will crawl or jump onto your pet. Tall grasses and low bushes may be teeming with ticks, just waiting for your dog to walk by.
Pet Wellness Check—Inspect Your Pets for Ticks Every Day
It takes mere hours for ticks to spread infection. Once they’ve attached themselves and begun to feed, your pet is at risk. Careful inspection of the fur, ears, tail, and toes is necessary to catch those pesky critters before they can do harm. Even if your pet has been indoors after contact with ticks, tick nymphs can mature days later. Be on tick patrol every day during tick season.
How to Inspect Your Pet for Ticks
To keep your pets healthy during tick season, you’ll need to check them every day. Run your fingers slowly through your pet’s coat. While your pet appreciates this special attention, you are searching for even the smallest bump. Ticks can be so tiny you will miss them, but once they’re feeding, they will plump up. Be thorough in the examination of your pet’s coat. If you feel a bump of any size, part the fur to expose the skin. Use these tactics to find a feeding tick:
- Thoroughly examine the coat, eyes, ears, tail, and toes.
- Feel for bumps on the skin.
- When you feel a bump, inspect the skin.
- Do a daily inspection, even if your pet has been indoors.
How to Safely Remove Ticks for Your Pet
The safest way to remove ticks is with a fine point tweezer or other tick removal tool:
- Find the tick—remember to do daily fur, ears, tail, and toes inspections.
- Using a fine point tweezer, pull upward slowly on the tick as close to the skin as you can get. You don’t want the mouth of the tick to break away from the body. Diseases are transmitted through the tick’s mouth.
- If you use any other tick removing tool, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
- Once the tick is removed, save it in a sealed container for later testing if necessary.
- Clean the animal’s skin and the removal tool with rubbing alcohol, then wash your hands.
Ask Us About Tick Prevention Medicine
Your veterinarian can prescribe effective tick prevention medication. These tick prevention products are your best defense against tick disease. If used correctly, these products will not only kill ticks but may also repel them!