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If you can avoid it, don’t let your dogs get ticks. They are incredibly irritating for your dog and more often than not, carriers of various diseases that could be painful for your furbaby. However, the most common effect of tick bites is inflammation. You’ll often see a bump after a tick bite on a dog.
Being a parent to your dogs, it’s common to feel concerned about their safety. But are these bumps safe or can they develop into bigger health problems? Plus, what can you do to heal it?
What are ticks?
Ticks are these little arachnids that are often found in the woods and in places with tall grasses. They are known as parasites and they wait until they can find the perfect opportunity to find a host and burrow into their fur. They bite the host in order to suck blood as it’s their main source of nutrients.
Your dog is likely to get them when they go on adventures in these areas. While getting ticks is a normal occurrence for any dog’s life, it’s best if you can help your dog avoid them. You can find tick repellents nowadays in the form of injections, tablets, or even collars.
How to remove ticks
To avoid infected tick bites, you need to know how to effectively remove them from your pet.
Don’t apply anything such as Vaseline while the tick is still attached. They will activate their defence mechanism and will ooze out harmful fluids. If you find one on your pet, get a pair of tweezers and remove them as quickly as you can. This will decrease the chances of getting an infection or other diseases.
Get them out by grabbing the tick by its mouth which is most likely attached to your dog’s body. Never pinch its body as it can also cause agitation and their infected bodily fluids might enter your dog’s bloodstream through the bite.
Although you have to do it quickly, you should do it steadily as possible. A tick’s mouth is filled with tiny barbs. These won’t be able to transmit disease, but it’s still much better if you get them all out.
Inspect the wound and if you see any barbs left, you can always pull it out. After you are satisfied with your work, wash the area with soap and water.
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When should I be worried about a tick bite?
Normally, these bumps should fade after a day or a maximum of two days. Bumps occur as ticks leave “granuloma” or a dog’s reaction to its saliva.
However, bumps that don’t go away even after a couple of days have passed can be quite alarming. It can be a sign that the tick bite has become more serious than a normal bite. Usually, this is a sign of an infection.
This happens when you are unable to remove the tick carefully and a part of it was left behind. You have to be extremely careful when taking out the tick. But oftentimes, this does happen when the tick has really embedded itself on your dog’s skin. It might mean that it’s been there for quite a while.
Here are some of the symptoms that are associated with an infected tick bite:
- Bump has swelled even more
- Thick pus oozing from the bump
- Lack of energy
But infection is not the biggest enemy here. Ticks are also known to spread Lyme disease, which has almost the same symptoms with infections in its early stages. But there’s also a condition known as the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that has almost the same signs as an infected tick bite.
Perhaps the most serious issue your dog can get from a tick bite is “tick paralysis.” This condition happens when a neurotoxin from the tick’s saliva enters your dog’s bloodstream as it’s feeding. The neurotoxin can induce paralysis that usually starts from the bottom part and makes its ways to your dog’s head. It can be fatal as it triggers everything in its path, including your dog’s respiratory system.
Moreover, if your dog is allergic to ticks, one bit could cause an allergic reaction that often develops into more inflammation and rash.
When you’ve observed that the bump didn’t go away after a couple of days and your dog has shown signs of lethargy, the best solution you can do is to bring them to the vet. They will run several tests to know what the problem is and provide your dog with the best treatment possible.
Ticks are rather common but it doesn’t mean that you have to leave them behind when you see them on your dog. It’s best to remove it as quickly as you can and avoid doing anything with the bump. Observe the bump after tick bite on your dog for at least a couple of days and when you observe something wrong, you should rush them to the vet to avoid any serious and fatal health risks.