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Safely Removing Ticks from Your Pet

Spring is HERE! With sunshine, flowers and warm weather comes a lurking danger in the grass and in the woods. Ticks are everywhere now and your pet is an easy target for these little critters.

Here are some helpful points to keep in mind this spring and summer.

Ticks are out on days where the temperature is 4 degrees Celsius and warmer. Knowing that ticks are present; it is always a good idea to prepare for the possibility your pet may be bitten.

Unfortunately, there are many sources online that will tell you how to remove a tick, but these are not always trustworthy.

Here are some things you should avoid doing:

  • Burning the tick with a match.
    • This will not help your situation, and you could injure your pet.
  • Trying to smother the tick with petroleum jelly or nail polish.
    • Using petroleum jelly and nail polish could make the tick stay attached longer. This is a myth that it will suffocate the tick.
  • Pouring rubbing alcohol on the tick. 
    • Again, this will not kill the tick.
  • Do not twist the tick as you could pop the tick’s head off and leave the head in your pet.

There is only one right way to remove a tick. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

After the tick has been removed:

  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Dispose of a live tick by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
  • If you are having problems removing a tick on your own, you can always see us and we will assist you in removing the tick for a small fee. We also have tick twisters available to help you in eliminating ticks at home.

Written by Sam Miller

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Last updated: February 25, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at McLean Animal Hospital