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What You Need to Know about Ticks! – Memphis Pet Health

Posted 05.02.14 by Kim Swift

Ticks are skin parasites that, if allowed to, will feed on the blood of your pet.  The bite itself is not usually painful, but the parasite can transmit diseases and cause tick paralysis, which is why tick control is so important. Ticks are more active in the spring and summer, but are present all year long.  

If your pet goes outside regularly, protection is important.  You can use Parastar (fipronil), a liquid applied to the skin between a dog’s shoulders monthly that discourages ticks from staying or implanting. You can also use a Preventic collar every 3 months among other options for tick prevention that we offer at The Pet Hospitals.

Look at your pet frequently to check for ticks.  The safest way to remove a tick is to use rubbing alcohol and a pair of tweezers.  Dab rubbing alcohol on the tick, and then use the tweezers to take hold of the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can; pull slowly and steadily.  Try not to leave the tick’s head embedded in the dog’s skin. 

tick on dog

Don’t squeeze the tick because it might inject some disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or other agents, into the animal during the process.  Risk of disease transmission to you, while removing ticks, is low but you should wear gloves if you wish to be perfectly safe.

Do not apply hot matches, petroleum jelly, turpentine, nail polish, or just rubbing alcohol because these methods do not remove the ticks and they are not safe for your pet.  

Ticks can sometimes transmit serious diseases to our pets.  These can include: Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  If your pet appears sick or painful, please bring them to your vet right away. Give us a call or stop by to pick up some tick prevention for your pet! 

Written by Dr. Christina Munn

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