Ticks are a problem for many pets during the warmer times of year. If your dog spends time outdoors, it's important to check his or her body regularly for presence of ticks. The following FAQ will help you learn to check your dog's body and recognize the symptoms of Lyme disease.
How can you tell if your dog has ticks?
Have your pet stand in front of you. Starting from the head, comb your fingers through your pet's fur, or use a comb to thoroughly rake through your pet's coat. Check small cracks and crevices of your dog's body, including the joints where the legs meet the body and around the ears. If you encounter something small, hard and shaped like a pea, this may be a tick. Pull back your dog's fur to look more closely at the lump. Do not try to comb a tick out of your pet's fur.
When should you check your dog for ticks?
Check your dog when he or she comes inside after being outdoors, especially if your pet has been romping around in tall grasses or in parts of the yard with a great deal of organic debris.
What should you do to remove ticks from your dog?
To remove a tick from your pet's coat, use a pair of tweezers to grip the tick by the body and pull the tick back and out. Do not attempt to twist the tick's body, as this can cause the head to break off in your pet's skin. Once the tick is removed, clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
How can you prevent your dog from getting ticks in the future?
You can help protect your pet from ticks by maintaining your yard. Keep your grass trimmed properly, and remove leaves and other debris.
How can you tell if your dog has Lyme disease?
Pets take a while to show symptoms of illness after they've been infected. In fact, some dogs take as long as 5 months before symptoms become apparent. You won't be able to tell at first if your pet has Lyme disease, but when he or she finally starts to show symptoms, they may include:
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, seek veterinary services right away. Your pet's veterinarian will be able to make a proper diagnosis and deliver treatment as necessary.
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