Should you be forgetting about tick prevention for your pets as winter approaches?
October 27th, 2016 by Mike MacDonald in Ticks
As temperatures cool and fall starts to transition into winter most people stop thinking about tick prevention, but it may be too soon to forget it.
Ticks may not be as frequent but they are still out there, and tick prevention still matters in the fall
Ticks are usually thought to only be a spring and summer problem by many, and that as temperatures cool down they are pretty much all gone. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, and you should still be on the look out for ticks.
Often people let their dogs and pets run loose as temperatures drop because they don’t think tick prevention is important this time of year. You want to take the same care with your pets as you did in the summer to look them over for any ticks that may have gotten on them.
Steps for tick removal if your pet does get a tick
- Ticks can carry several diseases that can transfer to humans, so it’s recommended to use gloves if you are going to remove any ticks from your pets.
- You may need to have someone help you keep your pet still as pets tend to not like the tick removal process. If removal isn’t done clean, you can accidentally leave parts of the tick behind. This could cause further injury or disease in your pet. Even doing something as simple as keeping a bite-guard cone on the dog during the process can alleviate concerns of the dog biting the tick in half (or your hand).
- It’s recommended you use tweezers to properly grip the tick as close to your pet as possible and remove by pulling straight out. As stated above, if you twist the tick out instead of pulling it directly out you could leave parts of the tick in your pet.
- Killing the tick is the next step, you can do this by putting the tick in rubbing alcohol. Don’t simply try and crush the tick as most often this doesn’t work. It’s also recommended to keep the tick on hand for a week or two just to be sure your pet doesn’t start having any symptoms. Having the tick on hand can help a vet properly identify possible diseases or treatments for your pet.
- Finally disinfect the bite. There are a variety of antiseptic wipes or sprays that you can get for this. Continue to monitor your pet for any abnormal symptoms and take them to the vet if anything unusual appears.
How cold is cold enough to get rid of ticks?
It may surprise you as to how cold it really needs to get for it to get rid of ticks. Even below freezing temperatures are not enough to kill ticks. They have been known to hide out in leave piles under the snow or in grasses etc, to stay warm enough and emerge during the day when temperature rise above freezing.
At this point ,ticks are even more desperate to find a host, like your pet, so even though they are fewer in number the likelihood they will try and attack your pet vs let them pass by is higher. Until the ground completely freezes, the threat of ticks is still there and tick prevention still matters.
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