Ticks, Yuck!

Health

Hello everyone. We are in early spring here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. I got an unpleasant reminder of what that means yesterday. huMom always gives me a thorough check after our walks once the snow is gone & she found a tick on me. So she & SAM sprung into action with a small tool called a tick twister (see above). Within moments the tick was removed & dispatched in a solution of rubbing alcohol. But yuck. We hate ticks.

Ticks are small insects that are related to spiders. They can be found in forests, tall brush or grass. But they aren’t just in the country side, they live in city parks & backyards too.

Ticks will jump on any mammal as it’s walking by. Then they burrow through the fur to feed on blood. In doing so, ticks can transmit deadly diseases & parasites. Lyme disease is carried by ticks. The longer a tick feeds the more likelihood of it transmitting a disease or a parasite, so it’s important to remove them as soon as possible.

Ticks are visible to the naked eye & will grow as they feed. If you do find a tick, it is important to take care when removing it. Any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your good dog or even to you! Treat the area with rubbing alcohol & pluck the parasite with a tick remover, making sure you’ve gotten the head. Never squeeze an attached tick or it will ‘barf’ into the wound. The ‘barf’ may have parasites or viruses in it.

My huMom is a “helicopter mom” with me & my fur is short & light colored so in my case, finding a tick isn’t that difficult. I imagine this isn’t so for all good dogs. For us, the tick twister tool comes in handy. But if your good dog is thick furred it may not be so simple & a tick may go undetected. There are medications you can give your good dog, both to prevent & kill ticks. There are pills, spray’s, & shampoos. Like any medication, you need to be careful about which one you use. Tick medications are toxic. Make sure you read all labels carefully, & if you have any doubts, seek advice from your veterinarian. We always like to promote all natural products & there are natural tick treatments but we have never tried one so I can’t say if they are effective or not. If you use a natural product for ticks, please share your thoughts.

I recommend you always give your good dog a thorough check after a walk in nature, be it a forest, park or backyard. Pay special attention to the ears, lips, nose, under the chin, the top of the legs & between toes. These are places ticks like to hide, but they will attach anywhere given the chance. The one huMom found was on the back of my neck.

A “tick Twister” is specifically designed for removing ticks. They can be purchased at a pet supply store or ask your vet. This video shows how a Tick Twister works, it seems very easy.

Ticks are dog gone disgusting & ugly so I apawlogize for this being a gross post.

CEO Olivia

Springtime is Tick Time

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. With the Spring fully arrived, it’s time to be on guard for those ugly little critters called ticks.

Ticks are small insects that are related to spiders. They are most active from spring through fall here in Eastern Ontario, but can be a year round pest further south in places like Florida. Ticks can be found in forests, tall brush or grass. But they aren’t just in the country side, they live in big city parks & backyards too.

Ticks will jump on an animal as it’s walking by. Then they burrow in to feed on blood. In doing so, ticks can transmit deadly diseases & parasites. For example, Lyme disease is carried by ticks.

During these warm months, it’s a good idea to check your good dog regularly after time outside. Luckily, ticks are visible to the naked eye & will grow as they feed. If you do spot a tick, it is important to take care when removing it. Any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your good dog or even to you! Treat the area with rubbing alcohol & pluck the parasite with a tick remover (see below), making sure you’ve gotten the head. Never squeeze the tick or it will ‘barf’ into the wound. The ‘barf’ may have parasites or carry viruses.

The longer a tick feeds the more likely disease can be transmitted, it is wise for your good dog to be seen by a vet soon after any ticks are found. If possible, keep the tick in a jar of alcohol & bring it with you to your vet. It can then be tested for things like Lyme disease.

Although we don’t use them, there are medications you can give your good dog both to prevent & kill ticks. There are many pills, spray’s, & shampoos. While these medications are great, you still need to be very careful about which one you use. Make sure you read all labels carefully, & if you have any doubts, seek advice from your veterinarian before application.

My huMom always gives me a thorough check after our walks. She pays special attention to my ears, lips, nose, under my chin, the top of my legs & between my toes. These are places ticks like to hide.

As I mentioned above, there is also a tool called a “tick Twister” that is specifically designed for removing ticks. They can be purchased at a pet supply store or ask your vet. I sniffed out a video on how a Tick Twister works, it seems very easy.

Please stay home & stay safe. We’re in this together.

#plankthecurve

CEO Olivia

Seven Good Rules for the Summer Months

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia reporting. It’s been an unusually hot & humid summer here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. So today I thought I’d remind everyone some important hot weather rules for good dogs. They may seem obvious but every summer tragedy happens because a rule wasn’t followed.

  1. Never leave a dog in a car. It can become an oven in less than two minutes, even with a window cracked open. Leave your good dog at home.
  2. The sidewalk test. Put your hand or bare foot on the sidewalk before you head off on a walk. Count to 10. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog’s pads. Try to walk on grass or trails.
  3. Never leave a good dog outside for a prolonged period of time with out adequate shade & cool water. Best leave a good dog indoors on hot, humid days.
  4. Limit your good dogs water play time. That may sound wrong but dogs can suffer water intoxication ( it’s called hyponatremia) from ingesting too much water. Symptoms include loss of coordination. lethargy, bloat, vomiting, glazed eyes, excessive drooling, difficult breathing & in worst cases seizures or comma. It can be fatal.
  5. Check for ticks. They are even in larger city parks now. After a walk, check your good dog for unwelcome passengers. Look especially in the ears, under the throat & between the toes. Pet stores & vet’s have tick remover tools. Maybe have one in the house. Sniff out this video on how to use one. Never squeeze the tick, gently pull it out. You should consult your vet & test for Lyme disease if you do find a tick attached to your good dog.
  6. Allergies can be a problem in the summer months. Good dogs can have reactions just like you humans. There are allergy medications available but consult with your vet, it’s important to know what allergy medications are safe for your good dog. We have an earlier article on that subject. You can paw here to sniff it out.
  7. Keep an eye on your good dog on really hot days, especially if it’s a senior good dog or one who is on medication, like myself. They might not cope with the heat as well as other dogs.

There are many other things I’m sure I haven’t thought of, feel free to add to the list. Just remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog.

CEO Olivia