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Your Dog and Ticks

There are many things to love about living in Texas. Big Sky Country definitely has many charms. Like anything else, however, you have to take the good with the bad. One of the downsides of living in a warmer state is the abundance of ticks. The odds are fairly high that, sooner or later, your canine buddy will pick up one of these unwanted hitchhikers. In this article, your Fort Worth vet offers some tips on tick prevention and removal.

Prevention

Be sure to regularly apply a tick prevention product. Even the best product isn’t guaranteed to keep Fido safe, however, so you’ll need to inspect your pooch frequently. Check your dog carefully after spending time outside, especially if you’ve been walking along paths, in the woods, or near debris piles.

Checking

To check your pooch for ticks, run your hands over his entire body, and feel for bumps or swelling. Ticks are sneaky little pests, and are great at finding hiding spots. Don’t forget to check between Fido’s furry little toes, under his armpits, in his ears, on his head, and even his tail. These nasty little parasites can be tan, brown, or black, but they all have eight legs. Look closely, because some ticks are no bigger than a speck of dirt!

Removing Ticks

If you find that your furry buddy has picked up an unwanted hitchhiker, don’t panic. First, get the gear you’ll need. This includes gloves, a clean pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool, antiseptic, and isopropyl alcohol. You’ll want to grab the tick as close to Fido’s skin as possible, using the tweezers or tool. Pull out, using straight, steady movements. Make sure you’ve gotten the entire tick, as if any part is left behind, it could cause an infection. It’s generally recommended that you save the tick, just in case, but many people just don’t have the stomach for this. As an alternative, take a few pictures of it. That way, if your dog develops symptoms, your vet will be able to identify the tick. Last but not least, reward your furry patient with treats and praise.

After removing a tick, keep an eye on the area where the tick was, to be sure an infection doesn’t develop. If you notice redness, swelling, or any other signs of possible infection, contact us, your Fort Worth vet clinic, immediately.

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