How To Remove and Prevent Ticks in Dogs
Ticks are irritating arthropods that prey on dogs. Their goal in life is to find a warm-blooded creature so that they can feed. Ticks are members of the Acarina order and are not insects. In the transmission of disease, mosquitoes and ticks are the primary concern.
When ticks are in need of a blood meal, they seek out pretty by heat sensors. When a warm object passes them, they attach to this object by clinging to clothing or fur or falling from trees. After the prey is chosen, the tick migrates to an area that has little hair or an area that does not hinder feeing (the ears and skin around the ears or lips are common places). The mouthparts are them locked in place and will only dislodge when the meal is complete. If it is a female, she will drop after feeding and seek shelter to lay her eggs. She will then die.
TICK REMOVAL: There are many suggested methods for tick removal, many of which are not recommended. Using an extinguished match will not cause the tick to back out and fall off. The mouthparts will only let go after the meal is finished.
• The best way to remove a tick is to use a tweezers or commercially available tick remover. Do not touch the tick since diseases can be transmitted. Consider wearing gloves.
• With a tweezers or tick removal device, grab the tick as close to the head as possible and apply pressure, pull the tick out of the skin. Some pieces of skin may also come off.
• If the head of the tick remains in the skin, try to grab it and remove are much as possible. If you do not get all of the head, your pet’s immune system will dislodge the head. There may be a slight infection at the site, but this is not life threatening.
There are some effective over the counter or vet recommended tick preventatives available. Your vet will be able to tell you which are the best and the safest.
It is a good idea to check your dog daily for ticks during tick season. The sooner the tick is found and removed, the better it is for your dog.