My dog has been bitten by a tick: what to do?

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After a nice walk in the forest or in a park with your dog, you are worried: your pet has been bitten by a tick. Nothing serious, but it must be removed quickly. These parasites can be dangerous when they carry disease. It’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible! Follow this guide if your dog has been bitten by a tick and adopt the right reflexes to properly detect this parasite.

The first thing to avoid

Be careful, if you find a tick on your dog’s coat: do not try to remove it with your fingers. When the tick bites, it plants its head under the skin. You risk leaving it attached and making the situation worse. Indeed, the tick’s saliva can be contaminated and removing a head under the skin is much more delicate.

How to remove a tick

To remove a tick correctly, the best solution is to use a pair of pliers specially designed for this purpose. This small accessory can be found in pet shops or in the “animal” section of your supermarket. It comes in different sizes depending on the size of the tick, and costs only a few euros. You might as well have one available just in case!

The tick catcher has a hook, which will allow you to catch the parasite:

  • place the hook around the body of the tick, against the skin of the animal;
  • Gently rotate the pliers;
  • After a few turns, the tick will detach itself.

Very important: make sure the tick is in one piece. If the head remains under the skin, it can continue to transmit bacteria to your dog. In this case, consult a veterinarian who can safely remove it.

You will probably see a small swollen ball at the bite site: press gently on both sides to get the venom out. Don’t worry, it’s not dangerous for you. Then disinfect the inflammation with a little alcohol or antibiotic cream and wash your hands.

If you don’t have tick tweezers at home: don’t try to remove the parasite by hand in a hurry, as mentioned above. Go to a pharmacy or pet store to buy one and remove it carefully.

Tick bite: the alarming symptoms

In most cases, a nip and a treat will be enough to make your pet forget about this bad episode. After such a bite, stay on the lookout and keep an eye on your pet. If you notice any abnormalities in your pet’s behavior in the days that follow, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian. This may mean that the tick has transmitted an infection to your animal.

Some symptoms should alert you:

  • your dog is abnormally tired ;
  • the ball at the level of the bite is still very swollen after 5 days;
  • he does not eat and/or drink anymore;
  • his urine is very colored or very dark;
  • he vomits.

Not sure? Be sure to detect the presence of a tick

You have a doubt about the presence or not of a tick on your dog’s coat? This parasite is recognizable by its shape: an oval ball of 3 to 6 millimeters, of brown color. You should know that this mite particularly likes to lodge behind the ears or between the fingers of its hosts. It can stay attached for several days and grows as it feeds on your animal’s blood.

Good prevention to avoid ticks

To be more serene, think about protecting your dog. Start by checking that his vaccines are up to date. Why should you do this? Simply to avoid certain risks of contamination in case of a tick bite.

Next, make sure your dog receives regular antiparasitic products. Collars, pipettes, sprays: there are many ways to kill the tick before it has time to transmit an infection. The products do not prevent a possible bite, but when the tick gets hooked, it dies before it can infect its host.

This will give you peace of mind during your long walks in the woods with your favorite companion.

Don’t hesitate to consult a vet to discuss the matter and to set up an adapted preventive treatment.