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What to Do If Your Dog Has a Tick

You've taken the best hike with your dog, enjoyed fresh air and exercise, and you've headed home to look at those instagram worthy nature shots. You're relaxing on the couch scrolling through your shots while stroking your dog and you feel something. Is that a skin tag? A piece of dirt? No! It's not wiping off. In fact after pulling at it you realize - its stuck! What is that? It's a tick! What do you do now?

Dr. Hugh, at Durbin Creek Animal Hospital, gets many calls and messages regarding ticks. Our office is in Florida which is known for ticks year round. Ticks are carriers of lyme disease so ticks can bring worry and fear for furry family parents. Ticks are carriers of lyme disease so it's important to remove ticks as quickly as possible to prevent the transmission of the disease. However, it's important to remove them carefully and safely. Below, Dr. Hugh shares the steps for what to do when your dog has a tick.

  1. Grab your gloves, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, alcohol and a baggie. Be sure to ask for help if you need assistance holding your dog.

  2. Utilize the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the base of the skin as possible. Pull away from the skin to remove the tick. Take care not to pinch the dog's skin. Do NOT twist the tick to remove. The head could detach and stay embedded in the dog's skin.

  3. Place the tick in the baggie in alcohol and place the date on the bag. In case your dog's skin displays a red circle around the bite, or he displays lyme's disease symptoms, bring your dog to the vet and bring the tick for identification. Be sure to wash your hands and tweezers after the removal of the tick.

  4. Prevent tick bites by checking your dog for ticks after each hike. Comb your dog regularly to ensure there are no ticks after regular dog walks or dog park visits. Make an appointment with your vet for the most effective flea and tick prevention.

If you find a tick on your dog, don't panic! Follow these steps to ensure the tick is removed correctly and safely. Enjoy those scenic hikes with your furry friend, but take care to check for ticks afterwards to be sure your dog is safe. If you have additional questions, contact Dr. Hugh at Durbin Creek Animal Hospital at (904) 770-7615.

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