How to Properly Remove a Tick

Ticks are bad news: They transmit several diseases that can cause severe illness and even death in both dogs and humans, so keeping your dog tick-free is a top priority. Huge numbers of tick eggs hatch each spring, and the young ticks climb onto grasses and other vegetation. Their sticky shells help them to cling to passing animals, including your adventurous dog. Ticks quickly climb down the hair, attach to the skin, and begin to suck blood, only dropping off hours or days later when they are engorged. In the meantime, any microorganisms that were hitching a ride inside this insect traveler are transmitted to your dog through the tick’s mouth. So when you find one — and you will — here’s what to do: Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the head of the tick where it attaches to the skin. Wear gloves if you plan to use your fingers to remove the tick. Pull on the tick gently and steadily. If you yank the tick away from your dog too quickly, you’ll leave part of the tick’s mouth behind, which can cause an infection. In 20 to 30 seconds, the tick’s mouth will release its grasp and the tick will come away cleanly. Dab disinfectant on the bitten area, being extremely careful if you’re around your dog’s eyes. Kill the tick by placing it in alcohol. Consider saving the dead tick in a re-sealable plastic bag, labeled with the date on which the tick was found. This may sound weird, but if your dog becomes ill, you may need to identify the species of tick that bit him. If your dog becomes ill, seek veterinary attention immediately. Most tick-borne diseases

Pet Owners Get the Point

Americans spend more each year on Fido and Fluffy than on booze, bread and everyday pantry staples. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average U.S. pet owner spent $502 on feathered, furred and fishy friends in 2012. That’s more than the $456 the average person paid for alcohol in one year or the $404 they spent on men’s and boy’s clothing. Pet food alone costs the average household $183 — more than most folks spend on chicken, cereal, bread and candy. So to all who scoffed at the idea of a veterinary practice emphasizing animal acupuncture, massage and house calls, you can stop laughing now. The odds are tilted in favor of Acupet Wellness and Dr. Mandy DuBose. The latest numbers underscore just how much people in the U.S. think of their pets. Collectively, they spent nearly $53 billion on them in 2012. That's an all-time high and the first time in history that more than $50 billion has gone to dogs, cats, canaries, guppies, reptiles and every critter in between, according the American Pet Products Association, which confirmed the numbers. That’s a lot of zeros to say the least, and the $6.2 billion that went toward grooming and treats last year is more than Facebook made in advertising revenue. The numbers speak volumes. Not even the brutal economy of the past few years has reversed the trend of spending on pets. The totals have risen every year right through the Great Recession. Dr. DuBose hopes the APPA is accurately predicting a climb of at least 4 percent for 2013, particularly in her niche market — referred to as alternative pet care — which totaled about $12.5 billion last year. If you thought

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