Ticks are a nasty little arachnid pest that attach to your dog and can be very irritating and can harm your pet. They carry many different diseases that can be quiet dangerous to your dog and other members of your household. Sometimes ticks can cause paralysis and the diseases they carry can even be fatal to your dog. It is really important to know how to remove ticks safely.
Some diseases take up to twenty four hours to take hold on to their host so getting rid of the pests easily and quickly is essential to your dog’s long term health.
Today we investigate the best ways to get rid of a tick on your dog and some other things you need to know about tick removal.
Step by step instructions for safe removal of a tick.
To remove an attached tick, the best instrument to use is a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or specially designed tick removal instruments. These special devices allow one to remove the tick without squeezing the tick body. This is important as you do not want to crush the tick and force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your pet’s bloodstream.
Always sterilize the implements you are using and it is best to wear tight fitting latex gloves to ensure a clean removal of the tick.
Step 1. Grab the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin. Do not grasp the tick by the body.
Step 2. Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Do not twist the tick as you are pulling.
Step 3. After removing the tick, place it in a jar of alcohol to kill it. Ticks are NOT killed by flushing them down the toilet.
Step 4. Clean the bite wound with a disinfectant. If you want to, apply a small amount of a triple antibiotic ointment.
Step 5. Wash your hands thoroughly. Ticks carry a number of diseases and these can be harmful to humans. If you are concerned you can use an anti bacterial hand wash or apply anti bacterial gel after washing your hands.
Additional tips for tick removal.
The way to remove the tick properly and with little damage or pain is to use sterilized tweezers to dislodge the tick. This can take patience if the tick is stubborn and doesn’t want to move but this is the safest way to remove these pests.
Be careful not to pull on the ticks body while pulling him out, if you pull too hard on the body it will come off separate to the jaws and mouth of the tick causing it to be harder to dislodge.
Start by cleaning the tweezers with alcohol or burning over a flame if alcohol is not available. You may want to also put alcohol around the area in question to keep it clean. Once this is done try to get as close to the skin of the dog and grab the tick at the jaws, to do this you will need to place the tweezers from the side into position.
If the tick refuses to budge, try moving it gently from side to side to unhook the jaws wile pulling away from the skin. Be careful not to twist the tick as this may remove the head from the ticks body. While moving side to side, keep constant pressure on the tick will cause him to tire and give in, releasing the tick in one go.
Myths about tick removal.
Myth 1. You may have been taught as a child to get rid of ticks from the skin, one of the most popular ways is to burn the tick, so it will release his grip on your pet so no further problems can arise of having the jaws still stuck into the skin. This does not work every time and you should never risk trying this.
Myth 2. Another myth is to smother the tick in oil based liquids, pure alcohol or Vaseline to help the tick back out of the wound. This doesn’t work and some ticks may actually burrow further into the skin.
These myths on tick removal can be very dangerous, the first is dangerous and can be painful for your dog and will more than likely scare your dog into behaving in a bad manner. The second is also dangerous and is unneeded and unsterilized, the idea is to keep your skin and around the area of the tick as clean as possible to avoid further infection or disease.
Using methods such as applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol will NOT cause the tick to ‘back out.’ In fact, these irritants may cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva in the wound.
Tick removal video.
Watch this video to see the correct way to remove a tick from your dog’s skin.
For more information about ticks and the diseases they carry see our article about Dog Tick Dangers.
We hope you have enjoyed our article about how to remove ticks.