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What to do if your dog gets a tick

Colorado has had a wetter than normal early summer and with that has brought an increase in ticks. It is very important to check your pets daily for ticks if they spend any time outdoors. Ticks live and breed in areas with foliage, so basically everywhere in Colorado.

Checking your pet for ticks:

Most ticks are dark brown or black in color and are small unless they have been feeding and then they appear more plump. An online search will help you identify ticks in your area. Start by running your hands all over your pet's body. If you feel a bump spread the fur and look at the skin. Be sure to feel and look all over your pet including the legs, between toes, on the tail, in the ears and all over the face. If you do find a tick, remove it immediately. It takes a tick 24-48 hours to infect its host with disease once it attaches to the skin. An added hack to searching for ticks on your pet is to run a sticky lint roller over their body immediately after coming inside. This can sometimes catch ticks that have not yet attached to the skin.

What to do if you find a tick on your pet:

First, remove it immediately! You can use tweezers by grasping the tick as close to your pets skin as possible and pulling in a slow, straight motion. Do not jerk the tick out. Tick removing tools can also be used and purchased at pet stores or online. Once the tick is removed, place it in isopropyl alcohol and note the date. In the event your pet exhibits symptoms of a tick borne illness, your vet may want to test the tick.

You've removed a tick, now what?

Once the tick has been removed, clean the area with an antiseptic and monitor the area for infection. Monitor you pet for signs and symptoms of a possible tick borne illnesses. These may include loss of appetite, lethargy, lameness, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and fever. In the event your pet has been bitten by a tick, always contact your veterinarian for instruction.

When you get your dog groomed with Dogs in the Driveway we take extra time to thoroughly clean and check all of your dog for ticks.

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