Examining your pet’s body regularly must be part of your total pest preventive plan.
All pest repellents (both chemical and natural) are only deterrents and your pet will still get bugged by bugs on occasion. Certainly, keeping your pet clean with frequent baths and brushing is part of a regular examination program.
Removing most of the pests you occasionally find on your dog or cat is not a big issue except for one … ticks. Ticks bore into your pet’s skin using backward-pointing spikes that can make safely removing them difficult.
One of the best tools we’ve come across and highly recommend as part of a natural system for protecting your pet is Dr. Karen Becker’s Tick Stick made by Mercola.
The Tick Stick is one of the few tools that allows you to actually hold the tick (without compressing it) and remove it by using a twisting, rather than a pulling motion.
The twisting motion allowed by the Tick Stick takes advantage of the tick’s rostrum structure. As you twist, the spikes bend into the axis of rotation, making it easier to remove the tick—so you can safely and easily remove ticks.
Ideally, wear rubber / plastic gloves or, in the absence of gloves, shield fingers with tissue or paper.
If you don’t want to keep the tick, the best way to dispose of it is to place it in a tissue and squash it. Then flush the tissue down the toilet or dispose of it in a dustbin. This will prevent the tick from going on to bite another person or animal.
Although not every tick carries disease, immediate removal of an attached tick is recommended.
DO NOT use petroleum jelly, any liquid solutions, or freeze/burn the tick, as this is likely to stimulate it to regurgitate (vomit) saliva and stomach contents, increasing the chance of infection.
Probably number one on my list of disgusting and bothersome pests affecting dogs and cats are ticks. The bottom line… ticks are external parasites that require blood from their host (your cat or dog, or even YOU), to sustain life. Ticks generally live in wooded areas, bushes, undergrowth, meadows, and clearings. But they can also be found anywhere there is grass.
Ticks come in various types and sizes. And some are so tiny they can be very difficult to see. They attach and embed themselves to their host in areas where the skin is thin – inserting their rostrums (tube-like structures covered with backward-pointing spikes) and secreting saliva allowing them to anchor tightly to your dog or cat.
To understand how to best prevent these pests from attacking your dog or cat, we need to look at how they detect their victims.
Fleas and ticks have several mechanisms they use to detect their hosts, and one of the most important ones by far is odor (olfaction). Fleas and ticks have olfactory receptor neurons narrowly tuned to specific odors they innately search for. Their simple olfactory systems consist of about 20 sensilla located on their first pair of legs. If this simple odor detection system senses something other than what it’s been tuned for, the fleas and ticks will reject the host.
And this is how many of the flea and tick repellents on the market work today… they mask the specific odors on your pet that pests are searching for in the environment. If the formula is effective, fleas and ticks cannot smell, taste, or even identify the host they’re seeking. So, they simply ignore your dog or cat.
Whatever the method of tick removal, the tick’s barbed mouthparts are so microscopic and delicate there is a chance they can break off. However, using a best-practice method will reduce this risk.
When using tweezers/forceps, the tick is grabbed close to the skin, gripping the tick at the base of its mouthparts. Twisting the tick then exerts pressure on its mouthparts, which can cause them to break off. You should NEVER twist with tweezers.
Mercola’s Tick Stick Removal Tool cradles the body of the tick and doesn’t exert pressure to either its mouthparts or its abdomen. It can, therefore, be safely twisted in one direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise – the tick is not screw-threaded), which allows the barbs on the tick’s proboscis to be freed from the surrounding tissue. The twisting action also helps to crack the special saliva cement that most hard-tick species secrete to fix themselves in. Because the tool doesn’t cause any compression to the body of the tick, it minimizes the risk of back-flow of the tick’s saliva and gut contents, and therefore helps to avoid disease transmission.
If you use this tool to lever (like a crowbar) the mouthparts are likely to break off. If you twist the tick one way and then the other, the mouthparts are likely to break off. Twist in one direction only.
The Tick Stick Removal Tool is suitable for the removal of ticks from both humans and animals and can be disinfected with normal disinfectants or sterilised in an autoclave at 284°F (140°C), so is reusable. The product is made from recyclable plastic, which can also be incinerated without pollution (no chlorine fumes during combustion).
This great product is provided via our exclusive partner, Dr. Mercola – Premium Products.
Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com in 1997 to share the most up to date natural health information and resources with the public. He aims to expose corporate and government fraud and mass media hype that often sends people down the unhealthy path. Mercola.com is now the world’s top natural health resource site, with over one million subscribers.
At Furchild Pets we work daily to find, source, and develop relationships with the best pet food, care, and welfare specialist around the world. We are thrilled to be a quality partner with Dr. Mercola and we hope that you enjoy this product as we do!
“Efficient Tick Removal as Part of Your Total Health Program”
It’s important to remember that examining your pet’s body regularly should be part of your total pest preventive plan.
All pest repellents are only deterrents and your pet will still get bugged by bugs on occasion. Certainly, keeping your pet clean with frequent baths and brushing is part of a regular examination program.
Removing most of the pests you occasionally find on your dog or cat is not a big issue except for one… ticks. Ticks bore into your pet’s skin using backward-pointing spikes that can make safely removing them difficult.
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