Protecting Your Pets From Ticks
The news has been reporting that 2013 could be a record year for ticks. All of us are at risk to become the host for a tick, even our pets. These troublesome parasites live off the blood of their host, whether it is a human or animal. Here are some tips when it comes to ticks and your furry family members.
- Know how to identify a tick. Ticks can be black, brown, or tan with eight legs. They can be as small as the head of a pin. So it can be easy to miss them!
- Ticks prefer to stay close to the head, neck, feet and ear area, but are not limited to these areas. To check your pet for ticks, run your hands over his entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, look to see if a tick has made its home there. Don’t forget to check inside your pet’s ears, too!
- Be careful when removing a tick. Any contact with the tick’s blood can transmit infection to you or your pet.
- According to the ASPCA, to properly remove a tick from your pet, treat the area with rubbing alcohol and pluck the parasite with tweezers, making sure you have gotten the biting head and other body parts. DO NOT use heat to remove a tick. You may consider saving the tick in a small container for a few days for your veterinarian to identify or test in case your pet would begin displaying symptoms of a tick-borne illness.
- Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection carried by some ticks that can affect humans as well as our dogs and cats. According to the Lyme Disease Association, dogs are 50% more likely to get Lyme Disease than humans. Symptoms of Lyme Disease include depression, swelling of the lymph nodes, loss of appetite, fever, and painful or swollen joints. If you suspect your dog may have Lyme Disease, contact your veterinarian. Lyme Disease is not the only tick-borne illness, so be sure to monitor your dog for any change in behavior following the removal of a tick.
- If you live in a highly infested tick area, or your dog or cat is prone to tick infestation, consider a topical flea and tick treatment or a tick collar.
Ticks can be anywhere; they are not just limited to the deep woods. Make sure you take the time and steps to protect your family, including the furry members, from ticks this summer!
Feature Rescue: Sara
Sara is a 2-3 year old Boxer/Hound mix with a lot of spunk. She knows how to sit, lay down, is crate trained, and is doing really well with her work on “stay.” She just needs someone who is willing to be the alpha dog and be firm with her. Sara would do really well in a home with someone who likes to hike, travel, camp, run, and keep her active. Although she wouldn’t do well with cats, Sara gets along with most dogs. To read more about Sara or other adoptables who are looking for homes at Paws and Claws Animal Rescue, visit their website pawsclawsanimalrescue.weebly.com, fill out the adoption application, and email it over to email@example.com. Thank you to Paws and Claws for saving Sara and sharing her story!
written by Maria, “Mama Dingo”