Every year ticks infect thousands of animals and people with illnesses like Lyme disease. Disease transmission can occur in as little as three hours after a bite occurs. Therefore the sooner you remove the tick the less chance there is that your dog will get sick.
Removing a tick from your dog may not be pleasant, but it’s important to do it quickly and correctly. It seems as though everyone has a favorite method for removing a tick. There are literally hundreds of suggested ways to remove them.
This is the way that the medical industry says you should go about it.
To safely remove a tick, all you really need is a pair of pointy tweezers and a good eye.
Pointy tweezers are a must for ticks. You want pointy tips, not squared-off ones. Ticks can be very small. If you use regular tweezers, you might tear them.
Before you begin, you’ll need to get:
- Pointy tweezers
- Rubbing alcohol (If you don’t have it, soap and water will work too)
Now that you have your tools, here are the steps to follow:
- Pull the hair or fur back to expose the skin around the tick.
- Thoroughly clean the area around the tick bite with rubbing alcohol. (or soap).
- Get your tweezers right down on the skin so you can grab as close as possible to the tick’s head.
- Pull straight up slowly and firmly. Do not jerk or twist. Steady pressure straight up will do it.
- Clean the bite area again. If the bite area bleeds let it. It will help to clean the wound. If it continues to bleed call your veterinarian at once.
- Wash your hands, with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Dispose of the tick properly.
And that’s it. If part of the head breaks off when you pull the tick out, that’s OK. You can try to remove it with tweezers, but if you can’t, it’s no problem. As the skin heals it will force the head out to the surface.
What To Do With the Extracted Tick?
There are two options: Get it tested or get rid of it.
Get It Testing:
It can help everyone in the area to get the tick tested. If there are outbreaks in your area you’ll know if it was carrying any diseases. To have it tested place it in a sealed container along with a blade of grass to keep it alive. Then, take it for testing.
Some state agencies do tick testing, but if you’re not sure where to send the tick, ask your veterinarian or call your doctor.
Get Rid of It:
If you just want it safely out of your life, you can:
- Drown it in a container with rubbing alcohol or soapy water
- Flush it down the toilet
- Wrap it tightly in tape, then throw it out
Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to crush it with your fingers. This is another way you can get disease from it.