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Ticks and our pets

Pet Parent tips from Pet Protect

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Ticks can be about all year round and are more commonly found on our pets as the weather starts to get warmer.

How do I protect my pets from ticks?

From March to November, it is important to make sure your pet is protected with some form of tick prevention.

  1. Tick prevention can be in the form of a spot-on liquid for the back of the neck, a tablet, or a collar. You can discuss the best option for your pet with your vet.
  2. Keep your pet’s environment clean: Ticks thrive in grassy and wooded areas, so keeping your pet’s living environment clean and free of debris can help prevent infestations.
  3. Check cats regularly by feeling all over their bodies when they come home or brush your dog after a walk.
  4. Remove ticks immediately and be sure to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out.

What are ticks?

  • Ticks belong to the same family has spiders.
  • They are 1mm to 1cm in length, have 8 legs and are usually grey or brown.
  • They have tiny pin sized heads that they bury into your pets’ skin to feed from their blood.
  • Ticks crawl or fall onto your pet when walking through long grass or an area that has lots of wildlife.

Where can ticks usually be found on my pet?

Ticks like to gather around heads, ears and necks but they can attach anywhere on the body.

How do I remove a tick?

Ticks carry diseases and are very good at spreading these diseases from one animal to another. That is why it is important to remove a tick as soon as you see it.

Ideally you should wear rubber or plastic gloves or, in the absence of gloves, shield fingers with tissue or paper.

If using fine-tipped tweezers:

  • Grasp the tick as close to the host’s skin as possible and pull upwards with steady, even pressure.
  • Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may leave the mouth parts embedded or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids.
  • Remove any embedded mouth parts with tweezers or a sterilised needle.

If using a tick hook remover tool:

  • Slide the two prongs of the tick hook tool either side of the tick’s body until it is secure.
  • Gently turn the tick hook tool either clockwise or anticlockwise.
  • The tick should detach after 2-3 rotations.

Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick, because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain infective organisms.

Do not handle the tick with bare hands, because infective agents may enter through breaks in the skin, or through mucous membranes (if you touch eyes, nostrils or mouth).

After removing the tick, clean the bite site with saline and wash hands with soap and water.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, any liquid solutions, freeze or burn the tick, as this will stimulate it to regurgitate its stomach contents, so increasing the chance of infection.

If you are concerned about your pet always speak to your vet or you can phone our 24/7 pet care advice service and speak to one of our expert vets or vet nurses.

Pet care advice when you need it the most.

If your pet is unwell our 24/7 advice service may help save you an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Speak to a vet or vet nurse by phone, chat, and video.

Our pet care service also offers behavioural and nutritional support, to help you take care of your pet.

Learn more about our petconnect service

Do you need pet insurance?

We understand being a pet parent can be tough, especially if your pet becomes ill or gets injured.

It’s important to consider pet insurance if you have a pet, as cover can help cover the cost of vet fees should your cat or dog need to visit the vet.

Compare our insurance plans and get a quote through our website using the following link.

Get a quote for your pet

By Melissa Pickburn

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