How to take a tick off your pet

Tick season is here!
Time to bust out the preventative of your choice! There are too many different varieties for me to cover them all in detail. Which you choose and how you use it depends on lot on your pet’s lifestyle and environment, and I’m happy to help you decide which is best for your particular pet. It’s worth noting that some products that “protect against ticks” only protect against one species of tick, so it’s important to read the fine print.
What if you find a tick on your pet? A lot of myths involve removing ticks. No, your pet having a tick is not an emergency! Simply remove it, but how? Do you turn it? Burn it? Say a chant? Stand facing West? Nope, it’s actually simple. Unbelievably simple. You get a tweezers, grab it as close to the skin as you can, avoid squeezing the body, and pull straight out. Seriously. No tweezers? I’ve pulled ticks out with my fingers, when in a pinch (pun intended?). It’s important to not squeeze the body, as you can be squeezing the disease-causing organisms into your pet! Sometimes a little scab can form in that area. (Very rarely, the bite can become infected.) Most often, the scab heals well on its own.
Most importantly, if your pet starts acting very sick in the days and weeks following (limping, fever, lethargy, etc) it’s a good idea to get him or her checked out. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases to dogs, such as Lyme disease (not common in our area), Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. For cats, the main concern is a rare but fatal disease called Cytauxzoonosis. Ticks typically have to feed on your pet at least 24 hours in order to transmit disease, so a tick that’s been attached for a few hours hasn’t had time to do its dirty work! That’s why it’s best to use products that prevent ticks from attaching, or killing them minutes after they attach.