I took my dog Jordy for a walk yesterday, and while we're heading home, I noticed something on his back. Yep, sure enough. the first wood tick of the season. According to the WIDNR, it's going to be a bad year for ticks. Here's some info from PetMd,com
Here are some tips to prevent your pet from becoming tick prey in the first place:
- When going for a walk with your dog, always stay in the center of the path and watch out for tree branches that hang above your head. Ticks like to drop from trees and shrubs onto their prey.
- Keep your pet out of leaf litter and piles of branches or leaves. This is another place that ticks like to lie in wait.
- Always conduct a tick check on yourself and your pet after coming home from an outdoor adventure. Make sure to check inside ears, in between paw pads, inguinal regions (inner thigh where it meets the body), in any folds of skin and around the vulva in females. Ticks like to hide in these places since they are warm and humid.
- Long-haired pets are more prone to getting ticks because there is more hair for the tick to grab onto. Always brush your pet after an excursion or walk to remove any hangers-on.
- Keep the edges of your yard clean and clipped. Ticks like to live on the fringe of yards and woods, so keeping yours trimmed and free of debris will help to prevent ticks from getting into your yard and onto your pets.
What to Do if Your Pet Has a Wood Tick
First things first: don’t panic. It takes between 6 to 8 hours of feeding for a tick to transmit any diseases it may be carrying, so the sooner you remove it the better.
Always wear gloves and use a set of tweezers to firmly grasp the tick by the head. Don’t pull the tick by the body or its head will dislodge and remain in your dog or cat, where it can transmit an infection. Instead, use a steady upwards motion and pull until the tick’s head releases. Then, throw the body into a glass jar and call your veterinarian. Describe the tick to your vet and ask if they’d like you to bring it in to be tested for diseases.
You can learn more by visiting our complete guide to tick removal and disposal.
After removing the tick from your pet, swab the bite site with an alcohol swab or other antiseptic and put a dab of Neosporin on the skin. Keep an eye on your dog or cat for the next couple of weeks to monitor for symptoms of a tick borne infection.