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Recognize and remove ticks from your dog

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You'll notice a tick on your dog because it's a tiny black, brown, reddish or tan insect about
the size of the head of a pin. Once it's on your dog, it may swell up to the size of a grape.

It's nice if two people can do this. One to hold the dog steady and one to remove the tick.

Here's the way I like to remove ticks (but see video below for other techniques)

  • Sterilize a pair of tweezers, the tick and your dog's surrounding skin with alcohol,
    antiseptic hydrogen peroxide (not the hair color type) or antiseptic wipes.
  • Wait about 10-minutes for the sterilization to kick in on all of them.
  • Kneel on the floor and place your dog between your thighs with his head away from you.
  • Use tweezers to remove the tick.
  • Place it on a tissue and flush it down the toilet.
  • DO NOT squeeze it to death because it may release disease-carrying fluids.
  • Apply antiseptic ointment to or wash with soap and water the area on your dog where
    the tick had been.
  • Sterile the tweezers again
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.

Watch your dog for a couple days to ensure he didn't get an infection from the tick. If he suffers swollen joints that make him lame, has a fever or isn't eating, see a vet right away.

Here's a short video on the right way to do it (and how to recognize a tick).

P.S. Studies show that using petroleum jelly, mineral oil, soap water, alcohol and hot match heads do not work to loosen ticks from skin. A hot match can harm your dog.

If you never want to go through this again, use a monthly preventive that also protects your dog from fleas.

If, for some reason, you prefer a flea-only preventive or you're taking your dog to a rural or wilderness area and want additional protection, consider the Virbac Preventic Tick Collar.
Get your vet's approval, however, before you combine any type of flea and tick prevention.

WARNING: Any one medication can cause an allergic reaction in any one dog. The first time you use any tick preventive be certain a responsible person is home with the dog for the next few hours.

Contact your vet if the dog shows any type of allergic reaction such as over excitement, scratching wildly or develops hives or swelling especially on his face or neck.

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