If you have a pet – dog or cat, the chances are that at one point or another you have struggled with the enemy of pets known as ticks. Or maybe you must have found a tick buried its head deep into your skin drinking your blood and you had to pull it out. If you have such kind of an experience, then you understand the discomfort that ticks can cause to your poor pet which is incapable of pulling it out all by itself.
Especially in a humid country like Singapore, it is difficult to prevent tick infestation once your beloved pet brings home some. These monsters feed on blood and procreate quickly, laying eggs all over your pet’s belongings and your home. When a tick bites your cat or dog, it can cause a lot of complications to your pet. Some of the problems that can be caused by ticks include the following:
- Redness of the skin
- Skin irritation
- Allergic reactions
- Skin infection
- Death – under severe infestation
To find out whether your pet has been infested with a tick, you need to comb it slowly while running your fingers through the fur. If you find any tick on your pet’s skin, you need to remove the entire tick. The simplest way to remove the tick is with the help of tweezers. However, if you do not have a pair of tweezers, you can pull it out with your hand.
Some of the common places that the ticks like to hide are under the dog’s tail, underneath all the legs, in the ears and under the belly.
To reduce chances of ticks infesting your pet which is likely to cause a disease to your dog, take the following measures:
- On a daily basis, check your pets for ticks
- If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately
- Seek help from a groomer/vet about tick prevention methods
- Ask your groomer/vet to examine your pet for ticks every time you take it for grooming
- Talk to your pet’s groomer about ticks in your area.
Kill Ticks On Pets
There are several ways of killing ticks from your pet. One of such ways is the use of a pesticide. Pesticides that are used to kill ticks are known as acaricides. Some of the acaricides that you can apply on your pet may be in the form of dust, sprays, topical ointments or impregnated collars.
Some of the acaricides kill ticks as soon as they into contact with the tick. Others might be absorbed into the bloodstream of the dog and then kill the ticks as they feed on the blood that contains the pesticide. Talk to your vet to advise you on the right kind of acaricide for your pet.
The good thing about using these pesticides to kill the ticks is it helps to reduce the number of ticks that are available in the environment surrounding your pet. They help to prevent the transmission of tick-borne diseases as well.
Some of the most common topically applied pesticides include the following: amitraz, fipronil and pyrethroids. Besides the topical ointments, you can also tick repellents to prevent and kill ticks that come to your pet. A tick repellant works by preventing the tick from coming into contact with your pet, or it might have an anti-feeding property which once the tick comes into contact with the chemical, it will not be able to bite your pet.
Talk to your vet/pet groomer about which pesticide is suitable for your pet.
How To Search Your Pet For Ticks
Use your fingertips to feel through the skin and fur of your pet. If you feel any lamp on the surface of the skin, stop and examine it more carefully.
Check on the face, neck and ears. Remove the collar and search the neck thoroughly. Next check the shoulders, legs, belly, sides, the back and chest area. In short, search everywhere.
How To Remove A Tick From Your Pet
On a daily basis and during the dog grooming process, if you or groomer finds a tick on your pet, ensure that you remove it as soon as you find it. If you do not know how to remove a tick from your pet; seek help from your vet/groomer.
You can remove a tick by following the following simple steps:
- Wear disposable gloves
- Have a container with a lid and some alcohol in it.
- With the help of a tweezers/tick remover, remove the tick without squeezing its body. Remove it from its head at the point where its mouth is inserted into your pet’s skin
- After you have removed the tick, ensure that you rub the area with a mild antiseptic
How To Protect Your Pet Against Tick Attacks
You can protect your pet against tick infection through the following simple procedure:
- Avoid tick habitat
Ensure that during the tick season you do not take your pet for a walk in areas that are likely to be breeding grounds for the ticks. At the same time, ensure that you keep the area around your pet’s house clean by cutting the lawn, clearing bushes and removing composite that might be around your backyard.
- Apply Pesticides
We have already talked about this above under the “Kill ticks on Pets” section. Speak to your pet’s vet/groomer about the best pesticide you can use on your pet.
- Search your pet daily
The most trusted method of tick prevention is through your personal effort by daily searching your pet for ticks. Run your fingers through your pet’s skin and fur on a regular basis and whenever you take your pet for grooming, ask the pet groomer to check for any ticks. A key tip is to search for ticks while combing its fur after its daily walk.
Even when you do your due diligence, be wary when you send your pet to grooming or pet hotels. If their facilities have pets that have ticks, it can be passed around and to your pet. Choose to go to a reputable groomer or have one of the groomers visit your pet in the comfort of your own home.