Well, we did finally get out to the woods today. We walked up one of our "usual" paths, to the highest point in the Greenbelt. The views were breathtaking - it had been so long since we'd seen these magnificent treetops.
Marge, too, welcomed the cool breeze running across her face after our short, but hot, climb to the top.
We had some company, too. Khyra, does this guy look familiar to you? He's some kind of hawk or falcon, but we're not sure what species. There were a few of them flying over us, trying to figure out what we were. (Photo taken by my sister.)
Before we started our hike back down, I noticed that a tick had jumped on to Marge's back. I promptly swatted it away and smashed it with all my might using my shoe. I get SO heeby-jeeby around bugs, and bugs that latch on and suck your blood and carry diseases.. well, that's even worse.
We initially planned on staying longer, but the heat, the buzzing bugs, and the threat of ticks made us decide to end things on an early and happy note.
When we got home, I pulled in to the driveway and turned around to look at Marge, who was sitting in the seat behind me. There was a $%&#&$@ tick crawling on her neck!
I got out of the car as quickly as possible, took a little scrap of paper towel that I had handy, and pulverized that bug, too. Thankfully, this one was not attached, either.
Now, of course, both my sister and I were freaking out. We have never experienced ticks before - we're city kids, through and through.
The only thing I could think to do was take Marge out in the back yard with a couple of combs and sift through her fur. We searched that dog from HEAD to TOE and everything in between.. multiple times.. and yeah, we found another tick, this time on the back of her paw. I'm not sure if it was attached - I don't think it was, as I got it out of her fur using the fine-tooth comb and it came out whole (and perfectly alive and crawly, if I might add).. UGH!
Thankfully, the bath was scheduled for that afternoon, so we took her and SCRUBBED the heck out of that little doggy. Using the dryer, we were able to sift through her fur some more to make sure we hadn't missed any. We checked ourselves numerous times, too, and also showered. We had been wearing bug spray while hiking, so it seems that they avoided us. I still feel itchy all over, though...
It looks like we're in the clear, but I'm still nervous. I've never dealt with ticks before. Do I need to call my vet? Should I re-apply her flea/tick topical (she got it about 2 weeks ago)? Argh! No woods for a while - I guess the rain and heat has brought those disgusting little creatures out.
Also, while looking on Marge for more ticks, I noticed some sort of lesion next to her paw pad. Not sure what it is - it's raw and red - I cleaned it out and dressed it with an antibacterial cream that my vet has let me use on her before. I put a sock to cover it while I'm awake to watch her, too. She's not limping, so that's good, but I am concerned because it doesn't really look like it's going to be quick to heal like a simple cut would be. Going to keep an eye on it for now - let's hope a vet visit isn't in order this week!
What a crazy day it became!