Tips on Tick Protection in St. Paul's Highland Park
Chances are, you’ve heard about ticks. They’re an ever-growing concern in our area with more cases of tick-borne illness being reported than a decade ago. To combat the risk they pose to ourselves and our furry family, it’s important to understand the diseases they transmit, how to prevent their bites, and how to remove them safely, too. Below is important information about tick protection from our animal hospital.
Preventing Tick Bites
Ticks like to lie in wait for their hosts to walk by in tall grass and brush. Avoiding these areas is certainly one way to prevent tick bites, except that ticks aren’t always where you expect them to be. To further ensure your pet’s protection, take the following precautions:
- Always check your pet for ticks after they come in from being outdoors. Be especially thorough around their ears, head, neck, and feet, including around the toes.
- Be consistent about administering tick control products. These medications are essential for keeping your pet safe from not only ticks but other parasites as well.
- Keep your yard clear of tick-friendly debris such as leaf litter or grass clippings.
- Mow your lawn frequently and remove tall grass and brush in and around your yard.
- Create a “tick-barrier” around your yard with woodchips or gravel around the perimeter.
If your pet is unlucky enough to be bitten by a tick, follow these steps to remove it safely:
- Put on rubber or latex gloves before handling the tick. It’s also a good idea to get an empty screw-top jar in which to put the tick after removal.
- Use a set of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Do not grab the tick from the top, over its body. This could cause the body to be crushed, releasing potentially infected fluids into your pet’s bite wound.
- Pull the tick off your pet straight up with steady pressure. Jerking or twisting the tick could result in the mouth parts breaking off and remaining in your pet.
- Drop the tick into your jar and disinfect the bite wound. It’s important to sterilize the tweezers, too, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Monitor the bite site and bring your pet (along with the tick) to your veterinarian if you notice any signs of infection or changes to your pet’s behavior or health.
For more information about tick protection, please contact us at (651) 789-6275.