Thursday, 8 September 2011

Ticked off

VILE VILLAINS. Ticks are repulsive and dangerous little critters.

Apparently, there were a lot of ticks around this summer. Something we started noticing around May. Edward kept getting a number of these creepy crawlies on him, particularly on his face. That made it easier for us to spot them, but infinitely worse to remove them, since he couldn’t stand it when we tried to use the tick remover. We often ended up having to forcibly restrain a hysterical puppy, to be able to get the damned thing off him.

TICK MAGNET. A puppy that is constantly rolling around in long grass and undergrowth is an easy target for the ticks.
Some ticks carry the bacterial disease Lyme Borreliosis, which is transmitted via their bites. This can cause a number of serious conditions in humans unlucky enough to get it, but these ticks aren’t just dangerous to people. Dogs can also become ill and develop symptoms like aching joints and fever. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Consequently, it is very important to remove the tick as soon as possible.

The tick remover from Clas Ohlson turned out to be quite handy. Once you get the loop around the body of the tick, you can gently pull it backwards and the whole animal comes out, with all its wriggly legs intact.

The only problem was actually getting it in place. The thin skin just above Eddies eyes appeared to be a favourite spot for the ticks to attach themselves, but it was easier said than done to make a puppy sit still long enough for us to remove them. He was thrashing about so frantically that I was terrified of poking his eye out.
Usually we ended up pulling out a fair bit of fur as well, which probably hurt and made him even more apprehensive about the whole thing.

PAINFUL. Getting fur pulled out as well as the tick is probably rather uncomfortable.
This was becoming stressful for both Edward and us, so we asked the vet for advice. She said there was a spray we could use, but since Eddie was given a bath once a week, a tick collar would probably be more practical. It would last the entire summer season.

EFFECTIVE. The collar repelled the ticks from day one.
The Scalibor tick collar proved to be very effective. Edward kept up his habit of crawling through bushes and tall grass, and every night we gave him a thorough check over, but we never found another tick. Even if it said on the package that the collar had to be on for some days to reach full effect, it worked like a charm from the moment we put it on him.

MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE. A belly rub gives you the chance to check if everything is as it should be.
We spend a little time everyday giving Edward an all over check up. He simply loves lying on the floor, getting his belly rubbed, and that gives us a chance to look at these hard to reach places like the armpits and between the toes. We found several ticks that way. If he has any small scratches, we’ll see them too, and that way we can keep an eye on how they heal.

DISCREET. The tick collar is hidden by the fur and is hardly visible.
The tick collar was bright white. (It isn’t anymore. A summer of playing around the garden has given it a distinctly greyish look.) It wasn’t exactly pretty. We thought that it would probably not look very nice on Edward, but since we have let the hair around his neck grow, it is hardly visible. Edward doesn’t seem to mind it in the slightest.

TICK FREE. Edward has been using his tick collar all summer,
and has been protected from both disease and discomfort.
Now the summer is over and we won’t have to worry about ticks for a while. Every cloud has a silver lining. Next year we will buy a new tick collar in April, saving both ourselves and Edward lots of stress and discomfort. 

No comments: