Tips for Tick Removal and Inspection

New Hampshire is a wonderful place to live and visit but every spring our pets and we are very susceptible, to the annual invasion of ticks, in particular, Deer Ticks, so you have to have the skills for tick removal. After my daily walk this year I have found three ticks crawling on my own legs. Fortunately, we have found no ticks on our 8-year-old cat Izzy, yet this year. With that said, one of the first steps to proper pet care here in New Hampshire is inspecting your pet regularly.

Step 1. Be prepared: Have latex gloves, cotton ball or gauze, stainless steel thin-tipped tweezers, triple antibiotic ointment and alcohol at the ready.

Step 2. Inspecting your Pet for ticks: Ticks search for blood rich areas on your pets and are typically found in and around the ears and head. We often find these bloodsuckers when they are well engorged, but a regular inspection of your pet after returning from a walk or playing outside can reveal them early on. Start the inspection by calmly spreading the fur, especially around the ears head and neck. Make sure you check the ears inside and out. You are looking for a small brownish to black spec about the size of a poppy seed. They are different sizes during the stages of their life and once fed, can expand to the size of a coffee bean. Here at the Happy Pet Caregivers, we try to regularly inspect your pets for ticks and access the overall well being of your precious pet.

Step 3. Removing the tick: You have found a tick and it has attached itself to your pet. If this is your first time, you may want to ask someone to assist you by holding and calming your pet. Apply the area and the tick with alcohol, using your tweezers; grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible and with a steady pull remove the tick. Once removed, put the tick in a glass with alcohol, to kill it. Flushing the tick down the toilet will not destroy it. After removal, you want to treat the area with alcohol again and to be sure you stop any infection and treat with a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment. Keep in mind, depending on how far along the feeding was, you might want to check the area for soreness and redness and reapply some the ointment over the next few days.