SNIP for pets starts Tuesday

By: Bill Smith - Contributing columnist

Beginning Tuesday and going through the following week, most local veterinary clinics will be offering discounted spaying/neutering services for your pet.

They offer this a couple of times per year. Through SNIP (Spay/Neuter Incentive Program) and the income-based state voucher system, many unwanted pets have been prevented. The SNIP is not based on your income or relative wealth, but appointments must be made by telephone before arriving at your favorite clinic. If you feel you are eligible for the state voucher based on your income, applications can be submitted at the animal shelter in St. Pauls or with the Humane Society in Lumberton.

Continuing a tick theme, increased activity has been noted in eastern Tennessee as it relates to Lyme disease. This is a natural flow as it has been in southwestern Virginia, right next door. The culprit is the black legged tick (deer tick). This a good time to remind people of the correct method for tick removal from a person or animal. Let me begin by saying, having been fortunate to have been raised by smokers, ticks in San Antonio were removed by a lit cigarette end touching the rear of the tick. There was some collateral damage, but that was clearly anticipated.

So the real steps are:

— Using tweezers, grasp the tick at the surface of the skin.

— Apply steady pressure and pull up. Do not jerk or pull. If parts of the mouth break off, attempt to remove them with tweezers. If unsuccessful, let your skin heal over it.

— Thoroughly clean the site with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

— Dispose of the live tick by placing it in alcohol, putting it in a sealed bag or flushing it down the commode. You could retain the tick in refrigeration if you want to see if a disease presents itself.

Got it? OK here’s your test … remember a deer tick was the one we were discussing. So get your tweezers out and work on the tick that is normally this size . see it? That period is the normal size of the black legged tick. Here’s five more deer tick bodies you can practice extracting …..


Bill Smith

Contributing columnist

Bill Smith is the director of the Robeson County Health Department.

Bill Smith is the director of the Robeson County Health Department.