Follow this guide to learn how to remove a tick from a dog or cat and dispose of it properly.
What are ticks?
Ticks are spider-like small parasites that suck blood from other animals. They have eight legs with an egg shaped body, which becomes larger and darker when filled with blood. Unlike fleas they don’t fly or jump, instead they climb or drop onto your pets coat when they brush past the tick in the grass.
Ticks are common in woodland and grassland and, although active throughout the year when temperatures are above 7 deg. C, you’ll most likely see them in spring and summer. Cats are less likely to get ticks than dogs, but it does still happen.
Why is it important to remove ticks from your dog or cat?
Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease to their host. This is a serious illness for both humans and dogs. To learn more about ticks and Lymes disease, read our blog, 10 Common Questions Asked About Lyme” .
As ticks can transmit diseases in as little as 24 hours after attachment ,it is always a good idea to get into the routine of checking your dog for ticks by brushing him thoroughly before letting him indoors. The favourite hiding places for ticks are around the head and neck, inside ears, between toes and the join between legs and body.
Tools You’ll Need to Remove a Tick
To remove a tick safely, you’ll ideally need these supplies:
- Latex or rubber gloves
- – it is best to protect yourself whilst removing the tick
- Extra lighting and a magnifying glass
- Tick removal tool
- – see The Woof Club tick removal tool set . This special tool is recommended rather than tweezers. It is so easy to squeeze the body of the tick with tweezers, which can push infected blood back into the animal and increase the risk of disease. The tick removal tool is designed to avoid squeezing the body and also to allow you to twist the tick as you remove it which reduces the likelihood of leaving the head of the tick behind.
- Antibiotic ointment
- Lot’s of treats !
4 Step guide for Removing Ticks From Dogs
Use caution when trying to remove ticks that are attached near your dog’s eyes, around their mouth, and inside their ears. If the tick is in an area that seems uncomfortable for your dog, don’t be afraid to call the vet.
Use the treats as a distraction and a reward for your dog during the tick removal process.
- Select the right sized tool for the size of the tick. Small for a small tick etc.
- Hold the handle between your thumb and index finger and slide the fork end of the tool toward the tick until it is caught between the prongs.
- Lift the tool very lightly and rotate in either direction several (2-3) turns. You will feel when the tick has released its mouth-parts and it is safe to pull up on the tick. Do not pull on the tick, but rotate the tick twister until the tick detatches.
- Examine the tick to make sure all body parts have been removed from your dog’s skin.
What to Do If the Head of the Tick Gets Stuck in Your Dog’s Skin
If the head of the tick is still embedded in your dog’s skin after the body has been removed, there’s no need to panic.
Do not try to dig the head of the tick out of your dog’s skin. This will cause more irritation and inflammation and will open the skin to infection.
Instead, take your dog to the vet to remove any remaining embedded pieces of the tick.
How to Dispose of the Tick
Once the tick has safely been removed, you can place it in a jar or small container that is filled with isopropyl alcohol and put the lid back on. The isopropyl alcohol will kill the tick. However it is just as effective to flush the tick down the toilet or to burn it with a lighter.
Disinfecting the Skin
After disposing of the tick, you can tend to the tick bite area.
Gently clean the site of tick attachment with soap and water. Anti microbial spray or anti biotic ointment can be applied as well
Keep an eye on the area where the tick was attached. If you notice any redness or inflammation, contact your vet immediately.
Preventing Tick Bites
The best prevention is to keep your dog protected all year round. The Woof Club recommend the EM ceramic anti tick collar As a very effective and harmless way to keep ticks at bay. Of course there are chemical alternatives freely available that certainly kill the ticks once they bite the dog but they can be harsh for the dog too.
How can The Woof Club help you?
We hope that you will find this blog useful when faced with the inevitable job of removing a tick from your beloved pet. Please let us know your thoughts and experiences on this important, creepy crawly topic. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this page. The Woof Club also have a selection of helpful items in the online shop as mentioned in the article. Please do take some time to check them out!