If you find a small insect attached to your dog's skin, it might be a tick. These can be anywhere outside, though are more prevalent in woody areas. Here are some tips for knowing when your dog has a tick and instructions on how to remove it.
Why Ticks Are a Problem
First of all, you should know why ticks in your dogs are such a big problem. Like other parasites, ticks have the potential to cause illness or disease in your dog. If it infects the dog, it could lead to Lyme disease, one of the major issues with ticks. It might also cause fever, lameness, or anemia, which could get worse if there are multiple ticks that are not removed promptly. It might even cause paralysis in some dogs, so it is best to look over your dog regularly so you can find the ticks and remove them hastily.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Ticks are not always easy to find, especially if you have a dog with a long fur coat. This is why whenever your dog is outside, especially in a wilderness or forest type area, such as on a hike, you should check the dog for signs of ticks. Typically, you will feel a small bump on your dog's skin when it has a tick, so look closely if you do feel a bump. Another sign is if your dog suddenly looks as if it feels ill and you can't figure out what is wrong with it, or if it has a high fever along with shivering and loss of appetite. Finding a tick in your home is a common sign, since it probably was on your dog and jumped off into your home. If this happens, check your dog for more ticks. There might also be some scabs on the dog's skin that you can't explain in any other way. One unusual place that they might hide is inside the dog's ear canal, so look in their ears if they seem to be shaking their head a lot.
How to Remove the Tick
Now that you know how to find a tick, you will need to learn how to remove it. It is not easy to remove with just your bare fingers, so you will need a pair of long-tipped tweezers. Ticks burrow into the dog's skin, so this is a requirement. Take the tweezers and try to grab as much of the tick as possible in them, going close to the dog's skin. Use steady pressure and pull up and out, without trying to twist the tick. You don't want part of the tick to remain in your dog's skin, or you need'll to visit the vet right away. Clean the area once you have removed the tick. Flush the tick down the toilet, but don't ever try to crush it in your fingers.