Ticks are small vampiric parasites that routinely transmit diseases to people and animals. The most common disease spread by ticks is Lyme disease.
Ticks are most common during summer months when people are active outdoors, and this is also when their eggs hatch into larva.
Signs your pet has a tick
- If you find a tick inside your house, there is a good chance that it hitched a ride on your pet and has already fed and dropped off. Chances are good that it wasn’t alone as well, so it is important to inspect your pet for any more.
- Your pet has a fever. Signs of fever in your pet can include a loss of appetite, heavy breathing, and shivering.
- Lack of coordination or trouble standing. If your pet is walking strangely, or has difficulty standing or sitting, it can be a sign of ascending paralysis. Take your pet to the vet immediately as this can progress.
- Strange scabs. As the tick can irritate the skin your pet may start to excessively scratch or bite at itself.
- Lumps. If you find bumps or craters it could be a sign of ticks. A tick that has burrowed into the skin of your pet will present as a hard lump where a crater in their skin can be a sign that a tick has already fed on them and moved on.
If you see any of these signs of tick infestation on your pets you should thoroughly inspect them for any more potential ticks that may still be bothering them.
Important places to inspect are the inside of ears, between toes, under the tail, around the genitals, around eyelids, and under the collar.
According to the CDC ticks should be removed in the following manner.
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.