Ahhh, I cannot think of many things as grotesque finding that odd new lump on my dog. The ultimate freak out of squirms, screams, and horrors once I realize I’ve found a tick.

After calming down from the discovery, what do you do? What kind of a tick is it? Will your dog be ok? Will you be ok? Is the prevention working? Where is MetroPet’s number?

Here is some important information to help with your questions about ticks:

Scientists are working to find out how long ticks needs to be attached taking a blood meal to pass on disease, but it could be sooner than you find it. In the meantime, companies have made products to kill ticks as fast as possible AFTER they begin feeding. There is not a product that can kill ticks faster than they can begin feeding.

This means that we are going to have run ins with these nasty parasites. So our pets need to be on prevention to kill the ticks, hopefully before passing disease. Keep in mind, none of the companies guarantee disease prevention.

Thank goodness that MetroPet believes in preventative medicine! We recommend testing for not only heartworm but tick-borne disease at least yearly. Depending on your pet’s life style, we may recommend a Lyme disease vaccine. Fortunately for you, our heartworm test includes 3 additional tests for common tick-borne diseases (ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and anaplasmosis). These diseases are ALL found in our area (check by Zip code).

Removing ticks

To properly remove a tick, we recommend bringing your pet into us (we love to get rid of those little nasties!), or following these instructions. The key is to get the whole body out without squeezing or crushing the body. Crushing of squeezing can increase the chances of disease transmission. Tweezers help with this fine work.

Once removed, place it in a small container or zip lock bag filled with rubbing alcohol. Label and date the container and keep it in case we recommend testing.

What to look for after a tick bite

Afterwards check for more ticks on your pet and yourself. If you find a tick on yourself, please contact your primary care physician for help. To learn more about ticks and your pet, click HERE, or HERE.

In any event, keep your fur babies on a veterinary recommended flea and tick prevention (ours lasts for 90 days), test yearly, and discuss any concerns and questions with our doctors. MetroPet is here to help (and our number is 440-826-1520).