Ticks are usually small insects, but they can cause big problems for your dog.
Check your pet for ticks every day if he’s been to parks or fields, wherever you live. Although these pests are more frequent in certain areas, such as the south of the country, they are found in all regions of Spain.
Ticks feed on blood, if your dog is bitten by one, it can be a carrier of diseases such as Lyme disease (also known as Lyme borreliosis).
Symptoms may include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis and other health problems.
This insect can also attack humans, with the same or worse consequences.
Ticks feed for 3 to 24 hours to infect an animal, but if you know how to spot and eliminate them quickly, you can reduce the chances of your dog getting sick. You can also make sure you don’t take these parasites home, where they can attach to you and make you sick.
How to check if your dog has ticks
Always examine your dog before you get home or right at the door, to reduce the chance of ticks entering your home.
Brush your fur with your fingers, gently squeeze to feel if there are any lumps on the skin. Ticks can be as small as the tips of grapes or like a coffee bean after sucking your pet’s blood.
Be sure to check their paws (including fingers), the inside of their ears, face, and neck. They are usually where the dog does not get to remove them with its claws or its mouth.
If you find a lump, separate the dog’s hairs so you can see its skin. Look for black, brown or gray-brown bumps, you may only see the tick’s body or its legs.
How to remove a tick
You will need latex or rubber gloves, alcohol, antibiotic ointment or antiseptic liquid and clean tweezers or you can also use a tick removal tool that you can buy at pet stores.
Wear gloves. Find the insect again and separate the dog’s fur to expose the skin and tick.
If you use tweezers, grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible and pull it up. Try to remove them all at once. Pulling the tick can cause part of its body to peel off and become entangled in the animal’s skin.
When you have the tick with the tweezers, do not pull it directly. This can also cause a break and leave some of the parasite inside your dog. Instead, slowly rotate the tweezers clockwise several times. The tick will be released.
Place the tick in a glass jar, plastic bag, or other object that can be closed. Add a teaspoon of alcohol, it will kill the tick.
If you think your dog is sick, take the tick to the vet, who will examine it and find out what species it is, which will help determine if the animal is already sick.
Clean the bite and surrounding skin with an antiseptic or apply an antibiotic ointment. Don’t forget to wash your hands.
Check the bite site frequently over the next few weeks, if it appears irritated or infected, call your veterinarian.
If your dog seems especially tired, has difficulty walking, or doesn’t eat or drink as usual, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have the tick removed.
If you are not sure how to proceed to remove a tick, visit the veterinarian, these insects are harmful to all members of our household.
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