If you find a tick….
* When finding a tick, carefully remove the whole tick from the pet’s body. . How to remove a tick using tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible by gripping its head. Carefully, pull upward until the tick releases his grip. Do not twist or jerk the tick or you might break off the head or mouth parts, and you do not want to leave the tick head embedded in your pet’s skin. Also, do not squeeze to the point of crushing the tick, or disease-spreading secretions may be released. If you do not have tweezers or a tick scoop, you can use your fingers, a loop of thread around the jaws, or a needle between the jaws to pull it out.
Note: Studies show that using petroleum jelly, alcohol and hot match heads do not work to loosen ticks from skin, although a few people still use the petroleum jelly and rubbing alcohol approaches, but the hot match technique has caused skin injuries.
* Another way to remove a tick: Apply liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15 seconds. The tick should release and come out when you lift the cotton ball.
* Ticks do not drown in water, so dispose of them by wrapping in a tissue and flushing down the toilet, or drowning in rubbing alcohol. Do not crush the tick; that can spread disease. Some vets may want to see the tick if disease transmission is suspected.
* Swab the pet’s bitten area with antiseptic.
Above all, keep your pets healthy. Fleas and other parasites have less effect on healthy animals…and they tend to live on pets who are unhealthy and/or have weak immune systems. And, as with healthy humans, healthy animals recover from illness faster and in the case of contracting parasites, are not likely to get sick. It’s a matter of immunity.
Also be aware that stressful conditions weaken immunity in humans and animals. A harmonious home is a healthier one.
Chemical-free, drug-free ways to keep your pet from getting “bugged” include inspecting your pet each day, and better yet, after each outing outdoors. Also see above for combing and bug removal tips.