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Troublesome Ticks: Safe Removal for Cats and Dogs and Natural Preventatives
The Spring has very much sprung here in Cornwall and the sun has been showing itself again (if only briefly!) giving us warmer weather and making those walks with our dogs and garden time with our cats all more pleasant.
However, with warmer weather and more time in and around the undergrowth comes the real risk of picking up the terrible tick.
Ticks are a common problem for all pet owners and one that we should all be aware of. These nasty blood-sucking parasites can transmit a variety of diseases to our furry friends, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis. Therefore, it is important to remove ticks as soon as possible to prevent the spread of disease, as well as taking proper preventative measures to ensure our four-legged friends don’t suffer from the problems they can bring.
In today’s post, we will be sharing our tips on tick removal as well as outlining some of the all-natural preventative measures we can all take to avert a tumultuous time with ticks this spring.
How to Safely Remove Ticks
If you live in an area where ticks are common, it's a good idea to check your pet for ticks every time they come in from outside. Ticks are most active during the spring and summer months, but they can be found year-round in some areas. Regular grooming habits are essential for all our animals during the warmer months in order to check for these nasty blood-suckers.
Preparing Your Tick Removal Tools
Before attempting to remove the tick, you will need to gather a few tools. You will need a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool, rubbing alcohol or antiseptic solution, and gloves if you prefer to wear them to prevent you from having any contact with the tick. Ticks can bite humans and can potentially cause really catastrophic health issues in us too, so it is always best to proceed with lots of caution.
Controlling and Calming Your Pet
Once you have gathered your tick removal tools, try to restrain your pet in a comfortable and calming position. Make sure they are as relaxed as can be and as still as possible to prevent them from moving suddenly during the removal process. This process can be very uncomfortable for your pet so keeping them calm is essential.
Locate the Tick
Next, locate the tick on your pet's body. Ticks are most commonly found around the head, neck, ears, and feet, but they can be found anywhere on the body. Check your pet's entire body thoroughly if you have found a tick anywhere as the chance of them having more than one is high.
Using your tweezers or tick removal tool, grasp the tick as close to your pet's skin as possible. Do not squeeze the tick's body, as this can cause it to release more bacteria into your pet's bloodstream. Gently and slowly pull the tick straight out. Do not twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause its mouthparts to break off and remain in your pet's skin which can lead to complications. Keep a steady grip on the tick until it is completely removed.
Disinfecting the Tick Bite
After removing the tick, disinfect the area from where you have removed the tick with rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic solution. It is also important to keep an eye on the site for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge for a few weeks after tick removal. It is also important to monitor your pet for any signs of tick-borne illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, and joint pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
It is important that tick removal is done really carefully to prevent injury to your pet or yourself. If you are unsure about how to remove a tick safely, or if the tick is embedded deeply into your pet's skin, always consult your vet for advice before proceeding.
All-Natural Tick Prevention
Tick prevention is also important. There are many tick-prevention products available on the market, including spot-on treatments, collars, and oral medications. Talk to your veterinarian about the best option for your pet. And remember that regular grooming and inspection of your pet's coat can also help detect ticks early and prevent infestations.
There are also a number of natural tick-repellant sprays, Anti-Flea and Tick Shampoos and Natural Tick Spot On products that are available if you prefer to take a more holistic route when it comes to tick prevention.
There is a wonderful range of Tropiclean Flea & Tick Shampoos that can help to manage nasty pests from encroaching on your dog’s quality of life that only use nature's most powerful pest-fighting ingredients such as lemongrass and sesame oil. There is also the excellent Wildwash Flea & Bug Repellent for Dogs that can be used every time you go out with your canine companions to deter ticks, fleas and other bugs from their coats and skin.
So, as the weather warms don't panic about the potential for ticks in the grass, just take proper preventive measures and follow our easy-to-follow tips on removal if your pet happens to get one on their skin.
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