How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves to a host, causing many tick-borne diseases. It is scary to think about them infecting your dog, but it is common for dogs to get ticks. However, if you know how to remove ticks safely from your pup, you can keep your canine companion healthy.

You will need tweezers or a good tick-removing tool when removing a tick from your dog. You want to be vigilant to get the entire tick out of your dog's skin. If there is a tick bite upon removal, you should take your pup to the vet.

Your vet will check your pup for any tick-borne illness. If you want to learn more about removing a tick from a dog, peruse this article.

What is a Tick?

If you want to understand why ticks are dangerous to your dog, you must first understand what a tick is. A tick is a tiny arachnid, which is the same class as spiders. Ticks feed off blood to sustain their lives. Ticks have a complex cycle of life:

  • Egg
  • Lar
  • Nymph
  • Adult

 

A female tick produces thousands of eggs at a time. Ticks cannot jump up onto your dog to feed off their blood, so they use grass or other vegetation blades to climb on and attach themselves to their host. Ticks start with a small host, such as a bird, and as the tick progresses through their life stages, they gradually pick bigger and bigger hosts, which is how your pup ends up with ticks.

 

Ticks carry diseases to humans and animals, and they can transmit diseases to many hosts. Ticks thrive in certain areas, including the grass, beach, woods, lawns, forests, and even urban areas.   Ticks will typically infect animals and people with some of the illnesses below; however, they transmit many diseases.

Lyme Disease

Lyme is spread by the deer tick or the black-legged tick, which is located in the Midwest, northeastern, and pacific United States

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This illness is passed on by the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the brown dog tick. They are in the United States but also in Central and South America.

Babesiosis

Transmitted by the black-legged tick located in the northeast and upper Midwest, the tick transmits microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells.

Ehrlichiosis

The lone star tick, found in southcentral and eastern U.S., transmits this disease with Lyme-type symptoms and is treatable with Doxycycline.

Diseases from ticks only take a few hours to spread. The faster you remove the tick from your dog, the better the outcome will be. It is better to get rid of a tick when it is alive to decrease the likelihood of your pup being infected with a tick-borne illness.

 

Where Do I Check My Dog for Ticks?

You should surviel your dog for ticks every time you return from a walk. You should start by running your fingers through your pup's hair from the head to the back, concentrating on specific areas:

  • Head around the eyes, ears, and under the chin
  • Neck including around the collar
  • Feet, including the bottom of paws and in between their pads
  • Armpits where the front legs meet the chest
  • Under their tail

Checking for ticks on your dog is an essential job as a pet parent.

 

What Supplies Do You Need to Remove Tick from Your Dog?

There are different ways you can remove ticks. However, having the right tools makes tick removal much easier and more effective.

  • Point tip tweezers or tick remover
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Magnifying glass
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Jar or small container with a lid
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Treats

You should always wear gloves while handling ticks to avoid contact with the skin. Use the treats to distract your pup from the process. When it is over, reward them with a treat for being a good boy or girl and tolerating it.

 

How to Use Tweezers to Remove Ticks?

You should follow specific steps when using tweezers to remove a tick from your dog. Be careful not to pinch your dog with the tweezers.

  • Try to grasp the base of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not grab the tick's body, which can break it, leaving the tick stuck in your pup's skin.

 

  • Slowly and steadily, begin to pull the tick out from your dog's skin. Pull the tick straight upwards. Be careful not to jerk your hand as the tick comes out, which can detach the tick from its body.

 

  • Once the tick is removed, check it to ensure that all the tick parts have been removed from your dog's skin.

 

The goal is to pull the tick's head out from your pup's skin while its head is still attached to the body. Ticks can be black, brown, or tan, and they have eight legs. They are also very tiny. It may sound creepy, but if you look closely and see that the tick is waving its legs, you have successfully removed the entire tick from your dog's body.

 

How to Use Tick Remover Tool to Remove Ticks?

There is a certain way you should use tick remover to get the tick out from your dog. There are some great options for tick removal available.

  • Gently grip the body of the tick between the prongs of the tool

 

  • Gently rotate the tool clockwise or counterclockwise to free the tick from your dog. Do not pull the tick while it is affixed to their skin.

 

  • Once the tick has been withdrawn from your pup, lift it away from the skin.

 

  • Examine the tick to make sure it has all of its body parts. Then you know the whole tick has been removed from your dog.

 

After extracting the tick, cleanse the area with rubbing alcohol, wash your hands thoroughly, and clean your tweezers. If the bite area appears abnormal, take your dog to see the vet. Put the tick in a jar or small container so that your vet can see if the tick has fed off your dog. You can also get the tick tested for certain tick-borne illnesses.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog from Getting Ticks?

There are various approaches to get rid of or prevent ticks on your dog. These products work in different ways, so it is best to read the directions carefully.

 

Spot-on Treatments

This treatment is a very effective method for preventing or controlling ticks and fleas. It can keep your pup tick free for about a month. Some ingredients can even prevent larvae from developing.

Oral Medications

This method kills both ticks and fleas. It also disturbs the life cycle of fleas. It is less harmful to small children and cats than spot-on treatment.

Shampoos

Bathing your pup with a medicated shampoo will typically kill ticks right away. This procedure needs to be repeated about every two weeks.

Tick Dips

A dip is a concentrated chemical that must be diluted in water and applied to your dog with a sponge. The treatment is supposed to be rinsed off upon application.

Tick Collars

Tick collars are usually effective for protecting the neck and head from ticks. When the tick collar contacts the skin, the chemicals are transferred to your pup's fur and skin.

Tick Sprays

Tick spray kills quickly and offers lasting protection. Sprays are often used in between shampoos and dips. Do not use it around other pets.

Powders

Tick powders kill ticks or deter them from getting on your dog. You will need to apply this product about once a week during tick and flea season.

Treat the House and Lawn

Maintain the integrity of your lawn. Keep your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed back, which will help decrease the population of ticks and fleas around your house.

 

Conclusion

Ticks pose a real threat to your dog. You should check them for ticks every time you come inside from taking a walk. Ticks can cause certain tick-borne illnesses, and it is your responsibility as a pet parent to make sure your canine is safe and healthy.

 

 

June 14, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications