MY CAT OR DOG HAS A TICK—HELP!
Found a tick on your furry friend? First thing’s first: Don’t panic. Noticing this bloodthirsty critter on your precious pet might gross you out, but follow these few tips from the Globalvet team below, and ticks will be gone for good in no time.
- First, put on some rubber gloves. This will ensure you don’t come into contact with any bacteria that the tick might be carrying. Safety first!
- Use tweezers or a special tool like the Tick Twister to remove the parasite burrowed in your pet’s skin. Don’t try to burn it off with a match or suffocate it with nail polish remover or petroleum jelly. These techniques pose a real risk of injury to your pet, not to mention they are usually ineffective. If a portion of the tick’s head is left behind, the area will stay inflamed and take longer to heal.
- Use the tweezers to grasp the head of the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Be careful not to squeeze the tick’s belly in the process. This increases the risk of infection to your pet if the tick is carrying Lyme disease or other bacteria. Take a deep breath and then slowly but firmly remove the parasite by pulling perpendicularly to your pet’s skin. If using a tick removal tool, slide the end under the tick’s head as close as possible to the skin and twist until the tick releases.
4. Now that the tick has been removed, clean the area with soap and water to promote healing. Better safe than sorry!
5. Place the tick in an airtight container so your veterinary team can examine it and make sure the head is intact. They may also recommend having it tested. If you want to dispose of the tick yourself, ensure you do it properly so that it can’t make it’s way back onto your pet or find another family member to latch onto. Flush the tick down the toilet or crush it in a tissue (wearing gloves) before throwing it away.
6. Are you concerned about your pet’s unfortunate encounter and any diseases they may have been exposed to? Your veterinary team is there for you both! They can answer your questions and tell you what to do next. If your canine companion or feline friend picked up the tick at one of your usually frequented spots, you or your family should check yourselves for ticks as well. For helpful information on Lyme disease and how to make the most of the outdoors while staying critter-free, check out the website https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/lyme-disease.
Easy enough, right? Just be on your guard anytime you take your pet outside. Before you head home, give them the once-over to make sure they’re not carrying any unwanted hitchhikers, especially on the paws, belly, neck, and face. Consider giving your pet a preventive parasite treatment for year-round protection, or at least during high season (depending on where you live). Last but not least, take the time to talk to your veterinarian, who can advise you on what precautions to take.