Tick talk: Clear up client misconceptions

Tick talk: Clear up client misconceptions

You know that only a veterinarian should remove ticks from pets. But do your clients know?
source-image
Apr 01, 2010

Clients can get downright creative in their tick-removal methods. And there are plenty of myths about the right way to remove those pesky little critters. That's why Dr. Fred Metzger, DABVP, says he recommends that clients bring their pets to the veterinary hospital for tick removal if possible. "We know how to do it. Plus, we can reevaluate a client's tick prevention program, determine whether a Lyme vaccination is needed, discuss testing for tick-borne diseases, and evaluate whether antibiotics might be needed," says Dr. Metzger, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa.

One of the biggest myths among clients is that they should kill the tick themselves as soon as they find one on their pet. Fact: It's best to not kill the tick, because if the veterinarian safely removes it within 24 hours of attachment, the risk of transmission of tick-borne diseases is very low. "Trying to burn the tick or apply nail polish remover is a bad idea and may actually cause the tick to inject bacteria into the patient," Dr. Metzger says. "It doesn't help and could hurt your pet."

The best advice: Encourage your clients to visit your practice so you can safely remove the pest.

Hot topics on dvm360

Pol on defense as Michigan veterinary board discusses negligence charges

Controversial reality TV veterinarian calls his approach 'common sense.'

Photo gallery: The top 10 veterinary schools in America, according to U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report ranks programs for the first time since 2011.

Front Desk Disasters, Episode 3: Dude looks like a lady

Everyone's favorite receptionist is at it again. Would you handle this situation differently?

Video: Flea hideouts in the house

Parasitology expert Michael Dryden, DVM, MS, PhD, reveals prime hideouts for fleas—and gives tips to clear them out of clients' homes for good.

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

You might be surprised by what your clients are researching. Plus, get an educational client handout.