By: Jared Smith
Summer is coming and if you are like me, it comes with fond childhood memories of playing with man’s best friend. Meet nine-year-old me and Sonic, my first dog:
Sonic was a wiry terrier mix with front feet that pointed in opposite directions. The local veterinarian used to joke that God must have put all his spare parts into Sonic.
Despite his unfortunate physique, Sonic had a penchant for chasing rabbits, which he did with uncanny success. Inevitably, through all his rabbit chasing, Sonic picked up a few friends along the way in the form of ticks. I used to find them hiding in the scruff of his neck, on his back and behind the only real soft spot on his body – his ears.
At the time, I had no idea that the critter that had latched itself onto him had the potential to infect Sonic with one of many diseases that ticks are known to carry, including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and fortunately there are several products on the market to aid in safeguarding pets from bringing home those eight-legged vampires. The simplest solution is to equip your dog with a Tick Collar, which prevents and removes ticks from pets and can last for 3-8 months.
Already satisfied with your dog’s collar? Try a spot-on treatment like K9 Advantix Tick Treatment or using a Tick Shampoo such as Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo or the like. The former can kill and repel ticks and provide prevention for a month at a time. The latter is handy as you can wash your dog to ensure that all ticks are killed and removed. Tick Shampoo is also the cheapest of the options discussed.
Too late to prevent the blood suckers from forming a dog pile on Fido? No worries! Rest assured ticks of all sizes can be safely removed with a Tick Removal Tool. The key in this situation is locating and removing the tick(s) as soon as possible to prevent the spread of disease.
Simply slide the tool around the tick, twist and pull for a clean removal of the tick. Afterwards, disinfect the affected area with rubbing alcohol and observe for signs and symptoms of illness. Remember, if a tick has already latched on, it is essential that it be removed in a timely manner.
Be sure to always wash your hands after handling a tick or tick prevention products.