When dogs spend more time outside, they are susceptible to a greater number of problems. And one of the biggest problems facing dogs are ticks.
These ugly, blood-sucking leeches grab hold of your dog and are difficult to get rid of. The most insidious aspect of the tick is even when you think you've removed it, often you haven't because the head is still embedded in your dog's skin. As long as the head is still attached and sucking blood, this loathsome insect will actually grow another body.
So how do you get rid of them?
Well, our Bruiser had a tick on his back earlier this summer. My husband felt something when he was patting him and, after parting the fur, found the tick. He soaped his fingers and slowly started withdrawing the tick from Bruiser's body. Once he had it, he threw it in an ashtray and burned it and thought that was that.
A couple of days later, a lump began developing where my husband removed the tick. The day after we noticed it, the lump was even bigger and seemed to continue to grow. What had happened was my husband removed the body of the tick and not the head, so the slimey sucker was still feeding on Bruiser's blood and growing but now he was encased in the skin.
So what do you do? Well we were not about to lance it as I was afraid of hurting our dog. However, I did have this neat little book on household remedies that said if you slather petroleum jelly on the lump, it will seep through the skin and suffocate the tick. We thought it was worth a try and, after 4 days of religiously adding the jelly to the lump, it started to go down and did, in fact, disappear.
So that's the secret to killing an embedded tick - Vaseline petroleum jelly.