Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Heroic Deed

Ok, maybe heroic is a little inflated, but I did help Oscar out in a big way today.  I noticed that my four footed adversary had a weird looking red spot on his inner meaty hind leg thigh.  (You're loving my description of the dog's leg, aren't you?)  At first, I figured it wasn't worth me walking over to him to investigate.  Then he laid down and I noticed that his red spot looked more like a misplaced 13th nipple.  Yes, I have counted how many nipples the dog has.  I use this knowledge to hurtle insults at the dog, like "Why don't you and your 12 nipples go somewhere else?" when he's bothering me.  I don't think he cares. So back to the 13th nipple.  It was a new development so I realized at this point that I was probably obligated to take a look.  At first glance, I though maybe it was some sort of melanoma.  Then I saw the wriggling legs.  It was a tick.

If you grew up in my house, then you might be like me and freak out at the mere thought of a tick in your home.  My mom always went on about ticks like they were one of the worst things that could happen to you.  Cancer?  No problem.  Get some chemo and radiation and you're good.  Ticks? You're pretty much dead.  Better get your affairs in order.  So when I discovered the tick my first instinct was to freak out and get away from the dog.  Then I felt duty bound to alert Bryan to the situation.  He's really tolerant of the furry freeloader (probably because he supports me and our two spawns, Madeline and Ellie).  I knew the dreaded question was coming so I hastened to add on the IM that I wasn't willing to engage in tick extraction.  That's when he asked for a picture. Ugh.  Taking the picture made me realize that this parasite was lodged pretty well into the dog, which made me feel a little bad for him.

Oscar uses a product called Frontline that is supposed to kill any fleas and ticks that bite him.  Since it's been cold out for a while, Bryan hadn't been putting it on Mr. Furkins for a few months.  Last night he decided to put it on him since it's warming up outside.  In theory, I could have probably left the tick embedded in the dog and all would have been well, but I began to worry.  After a quick call to Bryan discussing tick removal and my strong desire not to get clawed by Oscar or come in bodily contact with a tick, I decided I'd give it one shot.  A co-worker told Bryan that I should use tweezers and twist, not pull, the tick out.  I assumed that twisting the tick would be nice and simple.  My assumption was wrong.  Apparently, ticks are pretty tenacious.  It took multiple attempts before I got the twisting technique right. I had to twist the little sucker (pun intended) three times before it released.  And, despite being told not to pull, I don't think the tick was aware of this key piece of information.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one pulling, but there was some definite pulling going on.  Oscar was shockingly a very good patient.  I guess he was aware that I was helping him.  I'm fairly certain the extraction hurt since it looked like it was painful, but Oscar didn't flinch, yelp or try to scratch me.

So for today, I think I'm Oscar's hero.  Mr. Tick, who is currently residing in a ziplock bag is probably thinking I'm more of a meddling menace than a hero.  He's still alive and awaiting his final judgement when Bryan comes home.  I saved him so Bryan could make sure I got all of it out.  I'm guessing since the tick is still alive that I got all of it.


  1. poor Oscar and what an adventure you had to get the tick off! Koda has had a few and we usually take him to the vet to get them off him to make sure we get the whole tick. I think we are in a safer area too with ticks; the doctors don't even test for Lyme disease here because it isn't prevalent. We use Frontline too and it is pretty effective (assuming one applies it when it is time to do so :)


  2. I had a run-in with a tick the other day also. My husband is in Afghanistan -- a good excuse to avoid tick duty, but STILL!! I grew up in the country, surrounded by ticks. Somewhere along the way, though, they became horrifying. All this to say I feel your pain. I hope the Tick Days of Spring are behind us.


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