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It’s Tick Season

How to properly remove a tick from your dog’s body

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Its everyone’s least favourite season: tick season. Tick season usually runs from April to October, though it varies by region. Though ticks often prefer wooded areas, underbrush, long grasses, fallen leaves, and dense vegetation, they can also be found in backyards, trails, and paths. “A multitude of environmental and human factors has created a near ‘perfect storm’ over the past 20 years leading to a population explosion of ticks throughout North America, notes 

If you’re spending time outdoors with your dog, a quick tick check is in order once you get home. After a tick attaches, it usually takes 24 hours to transmit the bacteria, so the sooner you can remove ticks, the better. Run your hands through your dog’s fur, paying special attention to the head, ears (inside and out), under the collar and under the legs, around the tail, and between the toes. 

Common areas ticks hide on dogs

How to Remove a Tick

If you find a tick, the next step is removal. Using a tick remover or fine-point tweezers, grasp the tick as close to your dog’s body as possible. Do not squeeze or twist it—simply gently pull upwards with steady pressure until the tick releases. Place the tick in a closed container so you can bring it to your vet during your next visit. Your vet may want to test to see if it carries Lyme Disease or any other tick-borne diseases. Do not crush the tick with your fingers. Doing so can cause infection if you have any scratches on your skin. Once in the container, take a look at the tick to make sure it’s whole—you should be able to see its head/mouth parts. You want to make sure no part of the tick is left in your dog’s body.

Wash your hands and remember to disinfect your tweezers.

Signs of Lyme Disease:

  • Fever
  • Joint Pain 
  • Lack of Appetite 
  • Low Energy
  • Generalized Stiffness 
  • Sensitivity to Touch

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

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