Tick Bites Leave Large Scars
Ticks have been all over town lately and are hungry for a good feeding of blood. They usually crawl up grass and shrubs and “quest” (wave their little arms back and forth) waiting to latch on to their next victim. They often latch on to our pets, as they are the ones who normally walk closest to the shrubs or run through the grass. Ticks have the potential to carry and transmit Lymes disease and other bacteria.
Tick bites are often painless at first and can go unnoticed. After being attached to the skin and feeding on fresh, warm blood the skin becomes quite irritated. This is when you may notice the tick on your pet because the tick’s body becomes engorged with blood and often doubles or triples in size. The tick does not burrow into the skin but does latch on for dear life with its sharp mouthparts. This can cause quite a large scar on the skin.
Once the tick has been removed (by grasping the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible with tweezers and quickly pulling it straight out), you may notice a small area of irritated, red, swollen skin. This area should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water, rinsed well and dried. An antibiotic ointment may be applied to clean skin. Make sure your pet does not lick or chew at this area of irritated skin as we don’t want it to become infected. The area from the tick bite should be monitored closely and treated twice daily (scab picking is recommended so bacteria doesn’t remain under the skin). If it begins to look worse after a few days of cleaning and ointment application, please book your pet in to see their veterinarian as oral antibiotics may be necessary to help the skin heal.
Ticks often bite around the head, eyes and ears of our pets. These tissue areas can be quite sensitive and reactive. Your pet may be left with some beauty marks to prove they survived the tick battle.