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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Icky Ticky

We've been reading a lot lately about ticks. No, not the thing our moms eye does when she finds another tissue torn up by Tucker. You know, ticks. Those icky, creepy-crawly parasites that give us the heeby-jeebies just thinking about them.

So, if you found a tick on yourself, already head-embedded, would you know the correct way to extract it without breaking off the head in the skin which could lead to an infection?

We have never found a tick on any of our bodies to date... knock on wood. We are lucky dogs but we also don't live or play near a lot of high grasses or bushes. Of course, ticks can be found pretty much anywhere. Did you know a tick will hang from a leaf for weeks just waiting for an animal to skirt by so it can attach itself?

We have discovered a lot of techniques used for tick removal. Here are the two our mom has used in the past and has found effective.

Wet a cotton ball with liquid hand soap and lay it on the tick for a few seconds (20-30 seconds). Gently rub the cotton ball on the tick. The tick will extract itself and will be on the cotton ball. No ticky-touchy which is two thumbs up with our mom!

If the cotton ball trick doesn't work, then it is time to get the tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Gently but firmly pull straight away from the skin until the tick comes out. Never twist! Avoid grasping the ticks abdomen. This can cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents, which can increase the likelihood of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Ehrlichiosis or any other scary diseases that ticks like to carry and spread.

Most importantly is tick prevention. Use any preventative medicines your vet may recommend. We know a lot of doggies who do not use products like Frontline. That's okay too. It is up to their owners to make sure they are kept safe from ticks whichever method is preferred.

Also, if you find a tick on a cat, do not remove it yourself. This would be a good time to visit your vet. Healthy cats almost never suffer tick infestations due to their good grooming habits.

So, now that you are all scratching yourselves and cursing us for giving you the creeps, let us know your suggestions for tick removal. Any and all information is nothing but helpful in case a tick emergency should rear its ugly little creepy crawly head.


Life With Dogs said...

Great post and great info. We have already found a few of these nasty parasites on the dogs this year.

Joe Stains said...

Thanks for this useful info! I have never had a tick either so I am knocking on wood over here also!

Kimberly said...

those are icky tickys aren't they. We're lucky enough to have NOT gotten ticks. Bell runs through the water though that GOD KNOWS WHAT is flowing through and well - we all shower when we get home!
Good helpful tips though - thanks for the post!!
woof - Bell & Kimberly

Brind'Amour said...

Ewwwww, I don't like those little buggers. They creep me out. Thanks for the helpful info.


Martha Basset said...

Ticks are a problem here! So far Martha & Bailey have been OK and we use the Frontline Spot On stuff and it seems to work quite well.
That was a useful post - you have to be careful removing them if you want to get them whole.
I have had to remove a few in the past from our previous basset. I think it is because we walk a lot in the woods!
They are really nasty and I hate to tell you this but they can also latch on to humans!!!!

Rufus, Indie (and Anita) said...

Terrible bugs! We use Frontline and that seems to work!
Rufus and Indie

Checkers said...

ewwwwwwww -

Pug(s) and Bugg said...

Thanks for posting this guys! It reminded us of a funny story, so we posted it and linked to your post too. We hope you like it!

Mason Dixie said...

Ick!!! I use a tick preventative 5 years strong and no sign of any on me. =)

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Thanks for the useful information! My mom gives me anti-tick stuff, but it never hurts to know, just in case! (But I am going to go scratch myself now!)

Mr. Puggle said...

don't let alice's mom see your post. hahhahaha. she doesn't like tic.

Painter Pack said...

Mommy says she should have gotten cats! Haroooo!!! Us huskies have never had those things...but Jack and Doodle have had a few...funny thing is that Mommy is the only one with ticks so far this season!! Maybe SHE should use frontline!!!

Mya Boo Boo

Twix said...

I've never had a tick either. We are having issues with fleas this year, even with preventative. ~Twix

Ms. ~K said...

More ticks have been found on our Rama than on us. Zack had one, but Rama has had 5, one embedded-yuck!
She works in the yard every day...guess she needs some Advantix too!
Wroooo wrooo,
Zack, Sassy and Buddy

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Mom khaught one trying to bekhame part of my eyebrow area the other week...

She tries to make sure she chekhks me regularly but with my khoat...

Tank woo fur the info!


Dennis the Vizsla said...

Uck! Ick! Blech!

We have a set of tick removal tools that we bought online ... they look like miniature crowbars and work amazingly well.