Ticks and Your Cat

Ticks and Your Pet

Ticks can be a major nuisance to your pet and can cause a number of different diseases. In fact, ticks are one of the most problematic of parasites when it comes to transmitting disease. Therefore, in order to keep your pet safe and healthy, it is important to know how to properly remove them and prevent them from using your pet as a host.

Preventing Ticks

There are numerous things you can do to help prevent ticks from infesting your pet. One of the first steps you can take is to make certain the environment is not one in which ticks will flourish. For example, you should be particularly cautious when taking your pet for a walk through the woods, particularly in areas with low brush and tall grass. Certain parts of the country, such as the northeast, have a higher incidence of ticks. Therefore, when traveling in these areas, be certain to wear tick repellent and to have your pet properly protected as well.
There are many different types of products that you can use to help prevent ticks, some of which are available over the counter and some of which need to be prescribed by a veterinarian. These include:

  • sprays;
  • dips;
  • shampoos;
  • powders;
  • topical medications.

With the help of these products, you can prevent tick infestation while also making it easier to detach a tick if it does become attached to your pet.

Removing Ticks

If a tick does become attached to your pet, it is important to know how to properly remove the tick. This way, you can remove it completely and safely. In order to remove a tick from your pet, follow these procedures:

  1. Put on a pair of gloves or otherwise take steps to make certain your skin does not make contact with the tick.
  2. Use a pair of tweezers or a special tick removal device to grab the tick in the area near to its head.
  3. Pull the tick out with slow, gentle pressure.
  4. If the head remains in the skin, grab it with the tweezers and remove it as well.

It should be noted that skin often comes off when removing a tick, so don’t be alarmed if this occurs. In some cases, you may not be able to remove the tick’s head if it becomes detached. This generally is not a cause for concern, as your pet’s immune system will expel the head by creating a small abscess or infection. If you are concerned about the area or if a remaining tick part does not seem to be getting expelled from the pet’s body, you may want to contact your veterinarian.
It is important to note that there are several myths about alternate methods for removing ticks. Applying heat or nail polish to the area, for example, are popular myths for tick removal. Neither of these methods is effective for tick removal and should not be utilized. Rather, stick with removing the tick with tweezers in order to achieve the best results.

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