21 May, 2019

How to Remove a Tick From a Dog?

By Nabil Amir

Every pet owner’s nemesis is the tick. Ticks are just very bothersome and very nasty little parasitic creatures that can transmit the nastiest diseases to your pet with just one bite. They latch onto your pets’ skin and feed off their blood until they are fat and round. Apart from leeching off your pet, they also infect your darling pet with really nasty diseases. They can stay attached and leeching off your pets for a long period of time, and this only increases the chances of your pet getting infected.

Trying to prevent ticks from getting on your pet is something that can be incredibly tasking as ticks are basically everywhere and because of how small they are before they feed, it may be difficult to identify and get rid of them before it is too late. Ticks are present in an area where there is nature. It could be the woods or even the park. This means that simply taking your dog to play at the park or for a harmless walk can lead to a ticking jumping onto its back. As a matter of fact, you do not even need to go anywhere at all. A tick can very well attach itself to your dog right from your backyard.

That being said, as much as we would love to prevent the attacks of ticks, to begin with, we must also know how to remove a tick from the body of our dog for cases where prevention is not enough.

The first thing that you need to consider is the fact that as soon as you find a tick on your dog, you need to remove it immediately. Leaving it on for longer would increase the chances of the tick transmitting diseases like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever to your dog. These diseases can cause a number of issues for your dog, from arthritis to kidney failure, eye diseases, and in some cases, even death.

As soon as a tick is spotted, immediate removal is the top priority. When a tick first attaches itself to the body of a dog, before it begins to feed, it may be difficult to locate it as they are usually very tiny and can easily be missed by the naked eyes, however, as they begin to feed, they begin to grow and they get easier to spot. At this point, they have probably been attached to the body of the dog for days.

It is very important to make sure that you search your dog’s body thoroughly for ticks after they have been outside. If your dog has been or gone anywhere near gardens, grasses, leaf litters, forests or brushes, in fact, if your dog has been in tick territory at all, it is important that you thoroughly and carefully check their bodies for ticks.
In as much as ticks can basically latch on anywhere on the body of a dog, they usually would choose to go towards warm and hidden areas. These areas are the ears, armpits, necks, head, and feet, especially in between the toes. When checking your dog for signs of ticks, it is best to do so by rubbing your hands over your dog’s body. While you do this, you would want to pay special attention to any areas that feel swollen or bumpy.

Sometimes you may be lucky to find a tick before it gets attached to the body of your dog; however, this is rather unlikely, and most times, you would find them when they have already bitten into the skin of your dog. The bite area would most likely be red and irritated more so if your dog has been scratching the area.

Removing Ticks From A Dog’s Body

The first thing that you need to do when you find a tick on your dog is to have your supplies handy. You would need some rubbing alcohol or pet-friendly antiseptic, latex gloves or tissue, tweezers or a tick hook, a jar or plastic bag.

Protect Your Hands

The first step is protecting yourself. These insects can transfer hosts and diseases, and so it is important to be careful and protected while dealing with them.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Calm

It is important to make sure that your dog remains calm throughout this process and is not moving about as this can make it difficult to grab a hold of the tick and it can lead to you leaving certain parts of the tick on the body of your dog which would increase the chances of an infection.

Keep The Tick Exposed

You would need to expose the tick by parting the fur around the area where the tick is. You would need to do this with one hand and keep the other hand free in order to handle the tweezers or the tick hook. If you happen to find a tick in your dog’s ears or around the ears, it is important to be extra careful as this area is very sensitive. However, if you happen to find a tick inside the ear canal of your dog, it is best to simply consult a vet immediately.

Unhook The Tick

The next step is actually unhooking the tick from the body of your dog. It is advised to use a tick hook as opposed to tweezers as they can cause the tick to get squished or even leave some parts of the tick still embedded in the skin of your dog. With a tick hook, it is easy to simply slide it underneath the parasite and twist it out.

Get Rid Of The Tick

This is where the plastic sealable bag or the jar with lid comes into play. If you want to destroy the tick, you would not be needing these. The best option would be to flush the tick down the toilet. This way, you can be sure that they would not be crawling back out anytime soon. It is important to note that squashing the tick is not very ideal as this can lead to spilling some of its contents into your dog’s bloodstream and even on yourself as well.
If however, you wish to save the tick for testing by your vet in case of any diseases, you would need to place the tick in a sealable bag or jar and pour some alcohol in it to preserve it.

Clean Up Afterward

After this action has been carried out, cleaning up is very important. This is where the rubbing alcohol or pet-friendly antiseptic comes in handy. Simply clean the bite area with any of these and then wash your hand properly after disposing of the gloves. You would also want to disinfect and store the tick hook safely.
It is important to not only look out for ticks on your dog but also on your clothing items when you take your pet out. This is because these parasites can transfer hosts and can basically get hooked on anything.

You would also want to monitor your dogs for signs of itching, scratching, or biting. It is also important to note that it is not safe for your dog to bite a tick off its body itself as this can increase the chance the tick getting squeezed.

If after removal, the head of the tick still remains on the body of your dog, this is no cause for panic; it will fall off on its own with time.
You would also want to prevent future tick attacks by applying flea and tick prevention medications on your dog. You can get this medication from right at your doorstep once a month every month. This medication is waterproof, highly effective, and is suitable for dogs from 7 weeks and above. For protection from fleas and ticks, log on to today.