Twist, don’t pull

Sporting Gun - - SHOOTING ANSWERS -

Please set­tle an ar­gu­ment. What is the best way to re­move a tick from a dog?

Neil says: Well, first of all I can ad­vise you not to douse it with petrol (keep for lawn­mower), spirit (use for paint brush clean­ing), whisky (drink it your­self), nail var­nish (save it for the week­end), or Vase­line (em…).

If you do any­thing hor­ri­ble to an em­bed­ded tick it will grip hold with its mouth­parts, mak­ing it more likely that these are sub­se­quently left in the dog, and it will vomit anti-co­ag­u­lant into the pa­tient, re­sult­ing in in­creased chance of dis­ease trans­mis­sion. So, sim­i­larly, do not burn it, squash it or pull at it.

First, make ab­so­lutely sure that it is a tick and not a skin tag or such­like. Sec­ond, get a wee hooked tick re­mover. Third, gen­tly slide it un­der the tick and turn it con­tin­u­ously (don’t pull!) un­til the tick comes away. Fourth, about two per cent of ticks carry Lyme Dis­ease so don’t then pul­verise it to death, po­ten­tially spread­ing bugs every­where! We have a tick bin at work, which is a con­tainer filled with spirit into which they are de­posited. You might put it in an old pill bot­tle, jar or zip poly bag and put it in the bin or flush it down the loo. Now, wash your hands.

Since most dis­eases are trans­mit­ted more than 24 hours af­ter ticks at­tach, daily check­ing is re­quired. Bet­ter still, con­trol ticks with a mod­ern, pre­scrip­tion only, ef­fec­tive prod­uct as rec­om­mended by your vet. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, over the counter prod­ucts do not work very well, if at all.

Turn the tick con­tin­u­ously un­til it comes away – do not pull it!

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