How do ticks get on pets?
Your dog or cat can get ticks from being outdoors. Ticks carry out what is called ‘questing behaviour’, crawling up low grass or shrubs and lying in wait. When your pet brushes past, the tick takes the opportunity to find a new home. Ticks can lie in wait like this for several months until they find a host.
How to find a tick
Ticks can be difficult to see because they are so small, especially when they first attach.
To find ticks, it is recommended to walk your fingers through your pet's coat, feeling the skin surface carefully as you go. Pay particular attention to those hidden or hard to reach areas like under the collar and chin, between the toes, paws, gum-line, lips, eyes and inside the ears. And don’t forget to feel along their body, making sure to check their belly, and then down the back legs and genital region, as ticks can be found there, as well as on the tail.
Tick Removal Tools
A tick remover or tick removal tool will help remove a tick. These tools can either be tweezers or a tick twister, a specially shaped ‘hook’ which you buy from your vet or pet store.
To remove the tick, grab the tick adjacent to your pet’s skin (at the tick mouthparts), twist the tick gently, then pull the tick away from the skin.
Take care not to squeeze the tick’s body as you pull it off your dog. Removed ticks may still be alive, so be sure they don’t escape to find another host to feed on.
Then what do you do?
Just because the tick has been removed does not mean that your pet's condition will improve. If your dog or cat is showing symptoms of tick paralysis, please call us immediately.
- Weakness or loss of coordination in the hind legs.
- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing.
- Change in meow or bark.
- Progressive paralysis to include in the forelegs.
- Retching, coughing, gagging or vomiting.
PREVENTION against ticks
There are many tick preventative products on the market. The most common and most effective include: Nexgard, Nexgard Spectra and Bravecto chewable tablets for dogs & Nexgard Spectra, Bravecto, and Revolution Plus for cats.