If you find a growth on your dog's skin, it is important to discover the cause. Determining whether it is a tick or skin tag on the dog will let you know how to best treat it. Ticks should be removed right away, as they can transmit diseases to your pup. Skin tags, on the other hand, often need no treatment at all.
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Tick or skin tag on a dog
When you feel a lump on your dog's skin, be sure to take a closer look. Move the hair away from the bump and examine it. There are a few things to look for to determine whether it is a tick or skin tag on the dog.
Most ticks are dark brown or gray in color, while skin tags are the same color as the rest of your dog's skin. In addition, ticks are alive, so they will most likely move when you touch them. In addition, they have eight legs that you may be able to see where the pest is attached to your dog's skin. You may need a magnifying glass to take a closer look if they aren't immediately obvious.
Bumps that are the same tone as your dog's skin and that don't move as a live pest would are likely skin tags. However, if you still aren't sure, check the spot frequently. The body of a tick swells as it feeds on your dog's blood. If the bump gets larger, it is more likely to be a tick.
Treatment for ticks on dogs
If you live in a location where ticks are common or if you frequently hike with your dog in areas with ticks, be sure to check him for the pest regularly. Some ticks carry diseases that they can transmit to your dog if they are left to feed on him. Some of these conditions include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Removing a tick is simple. Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick close to your dog's skin and pull it straight out. Dispose of the tick by dropping it into a jar of alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. They are difficult to kill, and you don't want these pests in your home, so don't simply toss them in the trash.
It is not uncommon for the tick to pull a bit of your dog's skin when you remove it, so don't be concerned if your dog has a bit of a scab or is itchy for a couple of days. If the site doesn't heal, if the itching doesn't go away, or if you notice other symptoms, such as lethargy, take your dog to the vet for treatment.
Skin tags are a fairly common type of benign tumor. They are most common on older and larger dogs but can affect any breed at any age. They don't usually require treatment and are not a cause for concern. Take care when grooming your dog so that you do not pull or tear a skin tag.
There are times when a skin tag may need to be surgically removed, or it may be another type of growth. Signs that the growth needs veterinary attention include bleeding, discharge, a change in size or color, or multiple skin tags in a single location. You can also consider having skin tags removed if they are painful or bothersome to your dog. She may indicate her discomfort by licking or itching the area.
Do not attempt to remove a skin tag on your own. Not only can this be painful for your dog but it is also important that your vet confirm they are in fact benign tumors that won't need further treatment.