When you’ve taken a dog for a walk through high grass or let a cat out for the evening, it’s possible that your pet will return with a tick — or several — aboard. Ticks are more than just a nuisance; they carry pathogens like Lyme disease and spotted fever, and many canine illnesses spread by ticks cannot be prevented by vaccination.

How to Check & Remove Ticks

Checking for ticks requires a careful search of a pet’s fur. Look for bumps all over and make certain to inspect beneath a dog or cat’s armpit, between their toes, and inside their ears. Some ticks are large enough to see clearly while others may be very small, but all have eight legs and black or brown coloration.

Remove a tick by first putting on gloves, then using tweezers to take hold of the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Pull outward and make sure not to leave any part of the tick behind. Drop the tick in a small container of rubbing alcohol, so a vet can test it for any diseases. Finally, apply antiseptic to the bite bump and sterilize the tweezers.

Carrington College reminds pet owners to monitor their pets after removing the tick for any signs of infection. This may take 7 to more than 21 days. Symptoms like fever or sore joints can indicate a disease, making it crucial see a veterinarian as soon as signs develop.