TICK TIPS: How to avoid them with your pets

As the weather warms up and you go outside with your pet, you may want to look out for some creepy crawlies. Tick season has begun!

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — As the weather warms up and you go outside with your pet, you may want to look out for some creepy crawlies. Tick season has begun!

Officials say it’s time to stay aware and be prepared for those ticks that await in the grass as you walk by.
“When you’re going out and about, obviously your going to want to avoid shaded areas,” said Tony Moravec,” Driftwood Vet. “Ticks don’t like the sunlight, so they’re not going to be in the middle of a yard or field. They’ll be in areas where there is shade. Now they don’t drop out of trees; they crawl up small blades of grass and small shrubs.”

Veterinarian Tony Moravec says ticks can cause many diseases, and though it is rare, a bite from a deer tick can cause Lyme disease. In your pet, symptoms could vary, and take a month or so before a vet can diagnose it.

“Lyme disease can show up in different ways,” said Moravec. “Everything from just lethargy to some vomiting diarrhea, some shifting leg lameness. Sometimes they are lame on one leg one day and then lame on another the next day.”

Lyme disease symptoms for humans appear one to two weeks after a tick bite and can cause a bull’s eye-like rash to appear, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and tiredness. Again all this is rare, but you should still remove ticks as soon as possible if you or your pet is bitten.

Moravec says to use your fingers or tweezers to remove the tick He adds it’s important to get the full tick out including the mouth.

“If you squeeze the body that’s engorged, you can actually inject that engorged blood, that blood that has already been ingested by the tick, and that can create an infection,” said Moravec. “So we want to be careful not to squeeze the tick when you are removing it. If at all costs stop by your local vet. We’re happy to do it no charge just to get that darn tick out of there.”

Moravec says preventable options are always available like chewables or collars for your pet. He adds you get what you pay for and cheaper options may not work.

So how do you get rid of the tick?

“Usually drowning the tick in some rubbing alcohol is enough to get them gone,” said Moravec. “Usually, I have had clients that have thrown them away in the toilet before and flushed the toilet and those darn things they’ll catch to the side and they’ll crawl up porcelain so just know that is a possibility.”

Here’s what you need for your tick removal kit and it can all be found in your cabinet. Tweezers for removal, rubbing alcohol to drown the tick, or a lighter to kill the tick, and a pet antibiotic ointment for the bite so it doesn’t get infected.

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