Spotting a latched-on tick can throw anyone into a panic; and while a first reaction may be to yank the thing off, it is advised to stay calm and use a tick remover tool. Using finer nails, for one, can break off the tick; and if it carriers diseases such as Lyme Disease, it could spread to the person or the pet. Regardless if the tick is on a person or companion animal, this is the best method to remove the tick:
- Disinfect the area with soap;
- Using a tick removal tool, grab onto the tick and pull it upright. Avoid bending the tick because this may cause the tick to break off and not be removed in its entirety;
- Disinfect the area once more;
- Put the tick in a container or bag and send it for testing.
Be sure to watch for signs of Lyme Disease. In people, the most recognizable sign is a red bulls eye mark around where the tick laid and weak/stiff joints among others including fatigue and nausea. In pets, it could be changes in behavior plus exhaustion, excessive salvation, and weak muscle movements.
Take pets to the vet if a tick bite happened. Pets that are exposed to Lyme Disease can be prescribed antibiotics if in the early stages of the disease.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month; and while this is the most common tick disease, there are many other types that can affect both people and pets. Click here for pet tick disease prevention tips.