How to Check Your Pets for Ticks - Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital

How to Check Your Pets for Ticks - Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital

I went for a walk with my pet. Now what?

The warm summer months means spending more time outside and unfortunately, ticks. Many ticks are co-infected, meaning that they carry more than one disease, including Lyme disease. Did you know that only about 5% of dogs exposed will develop symptoms that are attributed to Lyme disease? But with all this said, you’re still going to go for walks with your dog and your outdoor cat will still want to be outdoors. You can prevent Lyme disease by making sure you thoroughly check your pet’s body after they’ve been outside and removing ticks before they attach themselves. Even if your dog or cat wears a tick and/or flea preventative collar or is given a spot-on medication, it is a good idea to do a quick body check.

Keeping your pet’s fur short is an easy first step. Breeds with shorter hair are easier to check than those with long hair. Shorter coats make the ticks easier to see by keeping them close to the surface while longer hair allows a tick to hide deep in the fur and avoid being discovered for long periods of time.

Brush or run your hands over your pet’s whole body, applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps or something the size of a pea. You may also use a brush or flea comb, stopping if you hit a bump or a snag to investigate. Most attachments occur in front of the shoulder blades, which includes the head, neck, and front legs. Make sure to also feel under the collar, under their armpits, between their toes, behind the ears, and around the tail. Ticks are attracted to dark, hidden areas and when attached can range in size from the size of a pinhead to a grape.

If you find an unattached tick, place it in alcohol and dispose of it. Flushing a tick down the toilet will not kill it. If the tick is embedded, you must remove it carefully so you extract the whole tick. If you are uncomfortable removing the tick yourself then call your vet. While wearing gloves to protect yourself, use fine-tipped tweezers to grip the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out, slowly and steadily, without squeezing the body. After removing the tick, place it in alcohol and clean the bitten area with soap and warm water. Keep an eye on the bitten area to see if an infection arises or if your pet starts to act abnormally. It is very typical for a small nodule to occur at the site of the attachment and persist for up to three weeks. Signs of Lyme disease typically occur one to three weeks following a bite and may include limping, poor appetite, and fever. A very small percentage of dogs may also develop a fatal form that affects their kidneys. If the skin remains irritated or infected or you suspect something might be wrong, call us at (201) 817-5564 .

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  • Offering House Calls

    We understand that sometimes a trip to the vet puts stress on your pet, that's why we offer house calls for those special circumstances.

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    Here at Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital, we are proud to offer care to many different types of animals, even your beloved exotic pets.

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    For more than two decades Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital has been proud to serve our communities animals' needs.

Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Alan  Pomerantz Photo
    Dr. Alan Pomerantz
    Born and raised in NJ, I attended Rutgers University for my Bachelors degree. I attended Cornell University and received both a Masters of Science degree and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees in 1985. I have had a varied career working with shelters, zoos and farms. Earlier in my career, I owned a veterinary hospital in Kingston, NY, where I cared for all kinds of animals. I raised a modest flock of sheep and goats for 10 years. For the last 20 years, my primary interest has been dogs and ...
  • Dr. Jack  Mastrascusa Photo
    Dr. Jack Mastrascusa
    I have been with Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital since May 2007. After working as a technician in the dental and surgical field and later achieving my veterinary license, I decided to stay and practice here as this is a great place to work and learn. I live with my wife Silvina and son Leonardo along with a Red footed tortoise named Fred and a Black and white Tegu lizard named Loki. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Montevideo, Uruguay when I was 13 and lived there for 11 years. It was in ...
  • Dr. Kristin  Onesios Photo
    Dr. Kristin Onesios
    I joined the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital in May of 2010 after working in Hoboken for three years. I had always hoped to return to FLAH after spending multiple summers and college breaks working here as a receptionist and veterinary assistant. I grew up a few towns over in Allendale. For undergraduate studies, I went to Cook College at Rutgers University where I received a degree in animal science. I pursued my veterinary degree at Tufts University. While there, I developed more insight into ...
  • Dr. Lauren  Stoltze Photo
    Dr. Lauren Stoltze
    Growing up in a working-class neighborhood of the Bronx confirmed the importance of hard work and dedication, and I am proud to have those ideals manifest themselves in my practice of medicine. I take great joy from my relationships with patients and clients and being able to give a voice to those members of our families without one. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in biology with a dual concentration in ecology and molecular cell biology ...
  • Dr. Sharon  Greenhut Photo
    Dr. Sharon Greenhut
    I am a proud member of the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital team. I strive to be a loyal and compassionate doctor who always advocates for the thorough and fair treatment of those in need. I very much enjoy forming relationships with my patients and their owners, and I truly understand the human-animal bond. I am particularly well versed in the care of dogs and cats and enjoy meeting new clients and patients. I was born and raised in New York and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where I ...
  • Dr. Veronica  Hudson Photo
    Dr. Veronica Hudson
    I knew from a very early age that I wanted to become a veterinarian, but it wasn’t until I caught early heart failure in one of my cats (due to subtle breathing changes) as a teenager that I truly knew it was my calling. With this goal in mind, I pursued my undergraduate studies at Montclair State University where I received bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Psychology. Shortly thereafter, I was accepted to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the ...
  • Dr. Viktoriya  Zilberman Photo
    Dr. Viktoriya Zilberman
    I have been a proud member of the FLAH family since 2012. I can trace my love of animals back to my childhood, where Mickey, our family’s white terrier-mix, inspired my devotion. As a 5-year-old, I may have loved him a little too much back then. I don’t know how much he appreciated me painting his nails, giving him haircuts, and cuddling him like he was my favorite stuffed animal – but he was my best friend. Growing up in Bergen County, I donated my time volunteering at RBARI animal shelter ...
  • Dr. Wendy  Kozak Photo
    Dr. Wendy Kozak
    I have been at Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital since March of 2003. I originally grew up in Wrentham, Massachusetts. I graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 1997. Since then, I have practiced in Florida, Massachusetts, and currently in New Jersey. I moved to New Jersey after getting married to my husband, Dan, in October of 2002. I have two beautiful girls named Kasey and Madison. We share our home with one Boston Terrier named Jackson and one cat named ...
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