Lions and Tigers and Bears…..
Well, maybe not. But for dog owners at this time of year, the chant becomes “ticks and fleas and skunks”. The prediction for tick is bad for this year. And I can testify that I’ve already found them on my own dog.
The goal of a tick is to find a warm-blooded creature so that they can feed. They seek out prey by heat sensors. Since they live in grassy and wooded areas, dogs are common targets. Once on the prey, they migrate to areas with thinner hair to be able to attach easier. The skin around ears, eyes and mouths are common areas.
Although Not all ticks carry disease, they can transmit several diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease. There are several products to kill or repel ticks. These include once-a-month- topical products, sprays, powders, dips, shampoos and collars. Your veterinarian can help you decide what might work best for your pet.
Once-a-month topical insecticides are applied to a small area on the back of the pet. They are easy to use and often last the longest. However NEVER use a product made for dogs on cats as they can cause severe toxicity and even death of the cat. Also do not use permethrin in any form on cats.
When using a spray, you do not need to soak the pet, but do need to sprat all parts of the animal. Use a small amount on a cotton ball to apply around the eyes and ears. Powders are easy to apply but can create a mess. Use sprays and powders in well-ventilated areas only.
Dips, rinses and shampoos are applied to the entire animal. Although best used for animals who already have an infestation, they may have some residual activity. Put cotton balls in the pet’s ears and ophthalmic ointment in the pet’s eyes to protect them. Shampoo, as with any medicated shampoo, needs to remain on the pet for 10 minutes before rinsing to be effective.
Collars must be applied properly to be effective. They need to be snug, but you should be able to get 2 fingers between the collar and the neck of your pet. Pets with heavy, thick fur on their necks may not receive much benefit from collars. Always cut off any excess portion of the collar or pets may chew on the end.
To remove a tick use tweezers or a commercially available tick removal device. If not available consider using gloves, a tissue or a paper towel to protect yourself as ticks can transmit diseases to people as well as our pets. Grab the tick as close to the head as possible. Pull straight back with a steady pressure, do NOT twist. Frequently pieces of skin will come off with the tick. These will heal quickly.
Please take steps to protect your pets this summer. The Posey Humane Society fights the same battle with the dogs and cats in our care. Your monetary donations help us with our vet bills and medications.
Next week we’ll look at ideas of how to combat the problem when your dog decides to get too friendly with a skunk.
Lions and Tigers and Bears…..
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