When you find out that your dog has a tick – or worse, ticks – you know it will be quite unpleasant. Despite that, removing the ticks should be done correctly and promptly, especially with personal protection dogs. The good news is that it is not a difficult process once you know how it should be performed.
Ticks do not just affect your dog, but they can also be dangerous to humans. These parasites transmit infectious organisms that can affect your protection dog’s performance. In fact, every year, they infect other animals and people with various illnesses, such as:
Lyme Disease or Lyme Borreliosis: It is a bacterial disease that is often transmitted to dogs, other animals, and even humans by black-legged ticks or deer ticks. The bacteria carried by the tick will enter an animal’s or person’s bloodstream after getting bitten. Once in the bloodstream, problems can arise in various locations or organs in the body.
Babesiosis: This disease is caused by parasites that cause infection in the red blood cells. Often, there are no symptoms, but treatment is available for those who suffer from the symptoms of the disease. Babesiosis can be prevented by reducing exposure to ticks, particularly black-legged ticks.
Ehrlichiosis: This disease affects both people and pets, but it is especially harmful to those with weak immunity as well as young children and older people. Ehrlichiosis can cause symptoms like loss of appetite, nose bleeds, joint pains, and lack of energy.
Aside from the mentioned diseases, there is one illness that every protection dog owner should know about. This emerging disease is not necessarily caused by a tick bite unlike the ones mentioned above. Rather, it is spread by dogs that have ingested ticks carrying infectious illnesses. It is known as the American canine hepatozoonosis or ACH. Dogs often remove ticks on their own, and some personal protection dogs eat other animals with infectious ticks.
Why You Should Remove Ticks NOW
With the diseases associated with ticks and dogs with ticks, you surely want to find a way to get rid of the insects on your pet’s body. Additionally, pathogen transmission can easily and quickly happen within just three to six hours after getting bitten. The sooner you eliminate the ticks, the lower the chance you and your dog could get sick.
Ticks have their bodies in just one piece, and their mouths have barbs that appear like a harpoon, which they use to attach and feed. Their legs are crablike, and they produce a sticky fluid, so that they can fasten themselves to the host. Ticks can survive almost anywhere: in beach grass, woods, forests, urban areas, and lawns. They are also not choosy when it comes to what they eat. They can feed on birds, other insects, and mammals, including people.
The Right Ways to Remove Ticks
You do not really have to worry about ticks when you look for personal protection dogs for sale. However, it is still useful to know how to remove these parasites. The most common way of removing ticks from a dog is to use a pair of tweezers. While effective, not all tweezers can do the job. You should not just use the household tweezers that you own because their tips are large and blunt. The best pair of tweezers is the one with fine-point tips, which will not tear the tick’s body. It also helps avoid spreading potential infections to the area that has been bitten. When you have the right pair of tweezers, here are the steps that you have to follow:
Using your fingers, part the hair or fur of your dog to find a tick.
Once found, position the tweezers near the tick. It helps if you can put it as close to the skin as you possibly can.
Pull the tick upwards. Do it gently and with steady hands.
Once you feel that the tick lets go of your dog’s skin, you can add more pressure.
You can easily see the tick bite after removing the insect. Use rubbing alcohol to clean it as well as your hand. You can also use soap and water or iodine.
Make sure that you kill the tick by flushing it down the toilet or just poisoning it with alcohol. You can save the tick and send it for testing if you are worried that your pet has contracted a tick-borne disease.
Another method that you can do is through the use of a tick removal hook. It is easier but requires a little bit of mastering. There are several types of this gadget, but they are quite easy to use since you only have to put the prongs on the sides of the tick before twisting upward.
Important Things to Remember
There are times when you do not see the tick, but you see the tick bite. Make sure that you find that tick immediately within 24 to 36 hours after you have seen the bite. Here are other things to keep in mind when dealing with ticks:
If your dog is quite active and plays in areas where you know he could get ticks, it is crucial that you check under his fur every day.
Your protection dog’s hair is not the only place where ticks like hanging out. They also stay in the groin, around the ear and anal area, eyelids, tail, and between the toes. For this reason, you should always check your dog thoroughly to include the areas mentioned.
Even if you have not seen any tick yet your protection dog keeps scratching especially if he repeatedly does so in just one place of his body, check that area for the little critters.
You can make your job of hunting down ticks by using a hair dryer, which is especially helpful if you have a double coated or long haired pet. The dryer will help part the hairs of your dog, making it easy to check for ticks.
One more important thing: do not use your fingers to remove ticks. Most of us are guilty with this, but using your fingers is not only ineffective but squeezing the tick may inject the infection from the tick to your dog.
There are various personal protection dogs for sale with different levels of training. However, you do not want your guard dog to have ticks as these parasites can distract him or even cause illness. Remove the ticks using the tips above and make sure you disinfect the tool or tweezers you used and your hands afterward.