Monday, January 12, 2015

A hair cut can save your pet's life

Phil has a run on the sand.
Ever seen a tick on your pet? Don't underestimate their ability to hide, even under a relatively short coat. Paralysis ticks are potentially fatal. If they are removed early, the outcome is better. But well hidden ticks can be hard to find and remove, and therefore result in more severe envenomation.

A big fat ugly engorged paralysis tick. Not what you want to find on your pet.
Enter the "tick haircut". Phil gets one (actually several) every summer. He's also on tick prevention. But tick prevention alone doesn't prevent 100 per cent of ticks - dogs in tick-areas should be hand searched regularly (ie daily). 

Phil before his hair cut.
After the haircut. Stunning. If you love the look and aren't sure how to describe it to your groomer, ask for a "tick cut". Or just print out this pic and say you want "The Phil."
Most ticks on dogs are found around the face/neck/head where it’s hard for dogs to groom them off – but they can be found anywhere. I saw a case last week where the tick was found just at the corner of the eye, disguised as an “eye-goober”. 

The most important thing to remember is, if you find ONE tick, KEEP LOOKING. They are often in multiples.

The second thing to remember is that once you remove a tick the problem isn't eliminated. Tick venom continues to circulate and animals that appear mildly clinically affected or not affected at all can worsen.