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Ticks are skin parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks like motion, warm temperatures from body heat, and the carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals, which is why they are attracted to such hosts as dogs and cats. The bite itself is not usually painful, but the parasite can transmit diseases which is why tick control is so important.
If your pet goes outside regularly, we recommend you use some type of residual insecticide. We carry preventatives in liquid form to be applied to the skin between a dog's shoulders that discourages ticks from staying or implanting.
The best way to find ticks on your pet is to run your hands over the whole body. Check for ticks every time your pet comes back from an area you know is inhabited by ticks. Ticks attach most frequently around the pet's head, ears, neck, and feet, but are by no means restricted to those areas.
The safest way to remove a tick is to use rubbing alcohol and a pair of tweezers. Dab rubbing alcohol on the tick, and then use the tweezers to take hold of the tick as close to the dog's skin as you can; pull slowly and steadily. Don't squeeze the tick because it might inject some disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or other agents, into the animal during the process.
Risk of disease transmission to you, while removing ticks, is low but you should wear gloves if you wish to be perfectly safe. Do not apply hot matches, petroleum jelly, turpentine, nail polish, or just rubbing alcohol alone (the tick must be pulled out after application of alcohol) because these methods do not remove the ticks and they are not safe for your pet.
Once you have removed a live tick, don't dispose of it until you have killed it, put the tick in alcohol.
Lyme disease is one that most people have heard about, but there are several tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted.
We recommend a yearly test be done to check for tick-borne diseases, included in this test is a heartworm test as well.
As ticks are abundant in the area, we highly recommend year-round monthly application of a tick preventative.
***Please read all directions prior to administration of a tick preventative as some are not to be used on both cats and dogs. For example; Advantix (active ingredient Permethrin) is not to be used on cats, only dogs.