What do I do if my Cairn Terrier has a tick? July 6, 2019 10:03

What do I do if my Cairn Terrier has a tick? - Cairn Terrier Collectibles

 

I know we should love all of God’s creatures, even wasps as they do their share of pollinating plants, but ticks?  Ticks I find it hard to say anything good about.  They are vile, blood sucking parasites, which carry some seriously nasty diseases. Lyme disease is the top nasty, which us humans can get as well.  If you get a bite which starts to look like a target, that is with a red centre in the middle of a lighter shaded ring, get it checked out as this may be a tick bite.

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Ticks carry other diseases and can cause awful upset and abscesses on your Cairn.  This is a good time of year for them, but they are present all year round.  They will “quest” for hosts by waiting at the top of grass stalks, and hop on board when your dog brushes against them.  Fields, meadows and grassland are favourite spots.

Check for these horrid critters in all your dog’s warm nooks and crannies after a walk.  They particularly like ears, under chins, armpits and tummies, so start there.  If you find one, ignore all the old advice of squeezing them, or burning them.  Don’t cover them in Vaseline or paraffin or anything else.  The very best thing to do to avoid spreading infection or them leaving their mouthparts in your dog’s body is to use a special tick picker.  It looks like a small plastic claw hammer.  Slide under attached head of critter, and the critical part here is to TWIST two or three times fully round until the mouthparts release, THEN pull up.

You can clean the skin with an anti bacterial wipe and do dispose of the offending tick completely to make sure it doesn’t live to bite another day.

I asked at our vets this week what they could suggest to combat ticks, and they said that unless the animal was constantly covered in them, the best thing is just to twist and pick them off.  The only preventer treatment they had in stock used a name that I have heard associated with nasty side effects. So I left that there.

Happily, in all our years of Cairn ownership, we have only had to deal with two ticks.  I did all the wrong things on the first one that was twenty years ago.  The groomers discovered the second one this week and they sorted it out.  Little blighter was inside the ear folds.  Bella was none the wiser and all is well.

Remember we are not qualified vets, so always seek out their help if needed.  Meanwhile, enjoy the gorgeous weather but keep an eye out for freeloaders.

Ruth x

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