Ummm, yuck! Turns out there's a word for what I'm feeling when I look at this bug – entonophobia, or fear of ticks! And, trust me, your pets should be scared, too. If you see one of these creepy crawlers on your furry friends, I've got tips for tweezing ticks.The common external parasite can transmit fatal illnesses like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, and you should do daily checks for the dangerous ticks, especially if you live in woody, grassy, or brushy areas.
Ticks look like this creature – they're tiny black, brown, or reddish eight-legged insect about the size of a pinhead. However, when they attach themselves to your pet, they can swell up several times their original size! See my removal tips when you read more.
- Safety first so put on latex gloves! It's important to avoid direct contact with the tick and contaminated skin, as diseases can be transmitted from tick to pet to human.
- Place your pet somewhere where you can get a good grip . . . and he stays as comfy as possible. It helps to have another set of hands to hold or distract him.
- Try to ID the head or mouth parts of the tick – you'll want to grasp it with tweezers as close to your pet's skin as possible. If you grasp it by the body, it can get crushed and force harmful bacteria into your pet's bloodstream.
- Pull the tick out using a straight, steady pulling motion. It's important to be slow and gentle so its head will not remain lodged in your pet's skin (which can lead to inflammation and secondary infection).
- Safely dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet.
- Apply a pet-safe antiseptic ointment to the bitten area.
- Throw away your gloves and sterilize the tweezers, too.
- Now give your pet a treat – he's been through a lot!