Here's a timely article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it helpful! –Kim
How to Remove a Tick from Your Dog, Cat or Yourself
Maybe you grabbed a bottle of alcohol and tried to smother it or even burn it to make it turn loose. These methods of tick removal are not effective. They can even do more harm than good.
When you find a tick on your pet or yourself, it does need to be removed as quickly as possible. However, there are correct and safe ways of tick removal without risking further exposure to the tick's saliva, which is often infested with disease.
What are Ticks?
Contrary to popular belief, ticks are not insects. They are disgusting little 8-legged mites who live only to suck the blood of their host. Any warm-blooded creature will do; ticks are not selective.
There are many different types, sizes and colors of ticks, which make it very easy for them to blend in with your pet's fur or your own hair for that matter. Weighing virtually nothing, ticks navigate the body undetected until they attach and begin to feast upon a blood meal. Some ticks, such as the deer tick, are so small you can barely see them until after they have fed and started to swell.
The Do's and Don'ts of Tick Removal
- Use rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with the tick.
- Use tweezers or a "Tick Key" to gently remove the tick.
- Use all-natural flea and tick control, such as TripleSure Natural Flea and Tick Spray, which will kill the tick on contact without the use of any chemicals or harmful additives.
- Grab the tick bare handed.
- Squeeze the tick's body when removing.
- Twist or wiggle the tick.
- Try to smother the tick with alcohol or Vaseline.
- Attempt to kill the tick using a match or other device for burning.
- Drown your pet in harmful, chemical-based flea and tick-killers.
The Correct and Safe Way to Remove a Tick
Because ticks carry infectious diseases, it is important to have the proper tools handy, prior to attempting to remove a tick. Items you should have include:
- An all-natural tick-killer product
- Rubber gloves
- Fine-tipped tweezers or a "Tick Key"
- Cotton swab
- Soap and water
With these items at hand, the proper way to remove a tick is:
- Put on rubber gloves. If you have an all-natural tick-killer product such as TripleSure, spray the tick, which kills it on contact. Do not use a match, Vaseline or alcohol in an attempt to kill the tick.
- Firmly grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible using fine tipped tweezers or "Tick Key".
- Pull the tick straight backwards to remove it. Do not use too much pressure or a twisting motion, or you may inject more of the tick's saliva into the bloodstream, which increases the chance of an infection.
- After you have removed the tick, kill it using alcohol if it is not already dead. Make sure the tick is disposed of in the garbage or by flushing it down the toilet.
- Clean the site of the bite with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Then clean it again with soap and water.
There are virtually dozens of products on the market to help combat tick infestation. Most of these products, however, are heavily laden with chemicals that easily penetrate your pet's skin, causing potentially serious side effects and health problems. When looking for a reliable yet safe product, be sure to choose one that is all natural and chemical free.
Ticks are carriers of disease. Dogs are highly susceptible to Lyme disease in particular and, without proper treatment, can suffer devastating effects to their overall health, including heart, joint and neurological problems.
Humans can also become infected with Lyme disease and suffer serious and sometimes irreversible effects if left untreated. Although pets do not directly infect humans, the ticks they carry can. By moving from the pet to their human owners, ticks can bite and infect humans with disease. Remember to do regular checks and remove a tick immediately from your pets, as well as yourself, to safeguard against potential illness and allergies, and to avoid unwanted guests.
Copyright 2007-2010 Gary Le Mon