Tick Protection, Prevention, & Removal
When it comes to ticks, there are two important things to practice: prevention and prompt removal. Ticks are arachnids who survive by feeding on the blood of animals. They are well-known for not only their creepy feeding habits but also for their ability to transmit disease to their host. Yet, with proper prevention and removal, you and your pets can be spared any lasting consequences. Our animal hospital has provided tick protection and prevention tips for both you and your pets.
Types of Ticks in Ohio
While there are many more tick species in the greater U.S., you’re only likely to encounter four species in Groveport. These include:
- American dog tick
- Where they’re found: grassy areas next to the woods or shrubs, often near roads and paths
- Diseases they transmit: Rocky Mountain spotted fever; tularemia; tick paralysis
- Black-legged tick
- Where they’re found: forested areas
- Diseases they transmit: Lyme diseases; anaplasmosis, babesiosis
- Lone Star tick
- Where they’re found: shady locations in grassy or shrubby areas
- Diseases they transmit: ehrlichiosis; southern tick-associated rash illness; tularemia
- Brown dog tick
- Where they’re found: grassy, bushy areas around homes, kennels, and roads
- Diseases they transmit: Rocky Mountain spotted fever (but so far cases have only been reported in the southern U.S.)
How to Protect Your Pets (and Yourself)
Avoiding tick bites is the best way to prevent disease transmission.
- Use a tick control product on your pets, even if they are indoor only. You or other pets could track ticks in, and the brown dog tick is one species that can thrive indoors. If your pet is currently unprotected, talk to your veterinarian about the options available.
- Consider the Lyme vaccine for your dog, especially if they frequently accompany you on hikes.
- Always fully inspect your pet and yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
- Avoid tall grass, shrubs, and wooded areas. Stick to the path!
- Wear long, light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks and tuck in your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks to minimize skin exposure.
- Apply a tick repellant if venturing into tick-infested areas.
If you do find a tick on your pet or yourself, removing it promptly is essential.
- Do not use folk remedies such as a lit match or cigarette smoke. You could injure yourself, or cause the tick to burst, which increases the risk of disease transmission.
- Do not touch it with your bare hands, but use gloves or a paper towel If you have to grasp it.
- Use tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and use steady pressure to pull straight up. Twisting or jerking the tick could cause the mouthparts to detach and remain in the skin.
- Place the tick in a sealed jar or Ziploc bag to save it for identification in case any symptoms develop.
- Disinfect the bite site with rubbing alcohol and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
Should you be concerned about a tick bite on your pet or have questions about tick protection for pets, please contact our animal hospital at (614) 836-3222.