Tick Searching Technique
Hopefully, your long haired pet is no longer long-haired and had its coat cliped short in ealry spring.
Start with Marks Finger Tap Trick
If the tick is on one side of the head, the eye on the same side is often paralysed and can’t blink. This is the first thing Mark checks for in a suspect tick case. Do a light finger tap close to the outside edge of each eye to check the eyelids can blink. If there is no blink, there is a very high chance the tick is on the same side of the head so start looking.
Tick Searching the Body
90% of ticks are from the shoulders forward where pets can’t bite and remove the tick when they first feel it on their skin. Having said that, other areas to thoroughly check are…
- The bottom and genitals (you know, those areas you don’t really want to check)
- High up in between the toes where your finger can’t go
- Tail (even the very tip)
- Check the ear flaps and edges and ear canals thoroughly- a favourite spot for ticks
Position yourself in front of your pet and run your fingers against the fur i.e. from tail towards the head using both hands.
Do one section of the body at a time e.g. right side of the neck, top of the neck, left side of neck etc.
Straighten out the neck when finger searching as loose skin folds make it hard to feel a tick- it may be easier to lay the pet on its side and have another person stretch out the head so the skin on the neck is nice and tight.
When you Find a Tick
Don’t apply metho or other chemicals on it as they aggravate the tick before it dies making it release more poison. Use a Tick Remover (available at BHVG) or a fine pair of forceps. Place the remover as low down as possible to the skin below the tick before giving a quick twisting pull to remove it. Don’t worry if you leave the head behind- the tick is dead and is not going to inject more poison.
Is that it once I have pulled out the tick?
No! If the tick has already injected some toxin into the skin e.g. in the last hour, pulling it out does not stop the toxin going on its way around the body. You must keep an eye out for early symptoms for up to 2-3 days as this is how long it can take for the toxin to work.
If you find one tick, there is a high chance there is another one
(or even more) on the body so keep searching