Ticks are active from Spring to Autumn and walking in long grass or in the woods will trigger ticks to get hold onto your pets and yourself without you noticing it. Only a few days later you will find yourself having to remove a tick from your child, your pet or yourself, because the spot the tick has been latching on got irritated and itchy or the hugely engrossed and blood filled body of a tick got now clearly visible in the fur of your cat or dog.
The life cycle of a tick expands over four different sections: egg, larva, nymph and adult. See this video about the tick’s life cycle:
How Can You Remove A Tick Safely?
In order to avoid leaving the mouth part of the tick accidentally back in the skin you should use a special tick remover. This small device fixates a tick’s head without squeezing the huge counterpart, allowing you to pull the whole tick out of the skin without breaking the head/ mouth part off.
Types of Tick Removers
There are four types of tick removers for dogs and cats available:
1. Tick Lasso
Watch this short video how to remove a tick with a tick lasso:
2. Tick Twister
While the tick lasso seems a bit fiddly to use, most veterinary professionals work with tweezers or tick twisters.
They are easy to use and will remove a tick safely without squeezing their tummies or breaking the head accidentally.
3. Tick Tweezers
Tick tweezers of this type have got the big advantage over normal metal tweezers that you don't need to squeeze the handles together while lifting up and pulling out the tick.
Personally, I find this is hard to do and the danger of slipping off the tick, breaking off its head or squeezing the tick's abdomen accidentally is fairly high.
4. Tick Card
The tick card tick remover is very handy: it has got the size of a credit card and you can put it into your wallet so you have it always with you.
The card helps to get between the skin and the tick's head without having to manipulate the tick itself a lot. You simply slip the tick into the slot of the card and lift - pull it out of the skin.
Tick Prevention For Pets
A quick summary about preventative measures of ticks:
Always scan your dog or cat after they have been outdoors, especially if you know you live in a tick infested area. (If you are unsure about this, ask your veterinarian.)
If you detect a tick, remove it immediately. Don't let it there, sucking your pet's blood and then falling off. Ticks can also infest the house and adult females are able to produce thousands of eggs that hatch and reinfest your pet.
Don't touch or squeeze a tick with your bare hand/fingers. It could burst you ending up with having the body fluids of the ticks on your hands. Ticks act as vectors meaning that they can carry over diseases, like Lyme disease, Spring Encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases.
Use only vet recommended meds against ticks and use them regularly. These products are generally more expensive, but they are not toxic for your pet, if used according to your vet's prescription.
Not all anti tick medication is safe for cats. Again, consult here first your vet and get the correct product for your cat!
Good products are Frontline Combo or Frontline Plus and Advantix/ Advantage. Best is to get them from your veterinary practice or with a prescription form filled out by your own vet from a decent online pharmacy. (Never from auction sites or dubious websites where a cheap price is promised.)