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Fall is on the horizon and once again, pet owners will be on high alert when it comes to checking their pets for ticks. Ticks, whether it may be deer ticks or dog ticks, can spread disease to both you and your pet. While tick season seems to peak during the spring and summer, the number of adult deer ticks is higher in the fall than during any other part of the year.
As autumn ticks closer, here are some tips to help protect your pets from a tick bite:
- Clean your yard of brush and fallen leaves
- Avoid letting your pet spend time in places where ticks are likely to live, such as heavily wooded areas or long grasses
- Make sure your pet is on a tick preventative
- Look into having your yard professionally treated by a pest control service for ticks, mosquitoes and fleas
- Brush your pet regularly and frequently check them over for any ticks that they may have picked up
While there are steps you can take to try to protect your pets from ticks, it’s impossible to fully protect them if they spend time outside.
If you do find a tick on your pet, here’s what you can do:
- If you find a tick on your pet’s fur or attached to their skin, don’t panic. Use a pair of fine point tweezers to grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out with steady pressure. Do not apply petroleum jelly or hold a hot match tip to the tick as these methods are not effective and may hurt your pet.
- Wash your hands and clean your pet’s wound with antiseptic, and make sure to clean your tweezers with alcohol.
- Note the date of when you removed the tick and note where on the body the tick was removed from.
- Continue to keep an eye on the area where the tick was to see if an infection surfaces. If the skin remains irritated or if you think it’s infected, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
- Also keep an eye out for symptoms of tick-borne illness. Some of these symptoms may include arthritis or lameness that lasts three to four days, reluctance to move, fatigue, loss of appetite, and more. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
Always consult with your veterinarian if you have specific questions or think your pet should be examined.