Spring is here and with it comes walks through long, grassy fields! Your dog likely loves running through the grass, unfortunately this is where ticks LOVE to live.
What is a tick?
Ticks are small, spider-like creatures which feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans. They vary in size, usually between 1mm to 1cm long. They have either 6 or 8 legs.
They hook onto something brushing past in the long grass and often go unnoticed!
What should I do after a walk?
When you return from any walk, it’s good practice to check your dog for any signs of ticks. And remember, you can get ticks too!
Wear longer clothes – trousers and sleeves especially – in meadows or woodlands, and use insect repellent on skin and clothing!
When is tick season?
Tick season is usually between March and October but may last longer. This is because wet weather and warmer temperatures make ticks active for longer in the year.
What should I do if I find a tick?
You should use fine-point tweezers (not conventional blunt tweezers). This will help to avoid tearing the tick, which can spread infections into the bite.
Spread your dog’s fur, then grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight upward in a slow, steady motion.
You can also get tick removal tools, which can be especially helpful if you live in a tick-dense area!
After removing the tick:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol.
- Rinse the tweezers or tool with disinfectant.
Why are ticks an issue?
Ticks carry bacteria that can cause disease, the most common being Lyme Disease.
What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Symptoms include limping, low energy/lethargy, a fever, drinking more water (and so weeing more often), swollen glands, vomiting, and diarrhoea.