Ticks are nasty and dangerous parasites that need to be discovered and removed quickly before they can do damage to your dog’s health. Most diseases they transmit can be prevented if you find and get the tick off in the first 24 to 36 hours of the bite. This way you can prevent your dog from getting infected.
The best thing you can do when you find a tick is to get help from a vet. But, in case this is not possible and you feel confident enough, you can remove it yourself by following a simple procedure.
Get everything ready
It is much easier to handle taking a tick off your dog if you gather everything you need beforehand. It’s not easy finding the things you need once you get a hold of your dog and start battling the tick. So before you start the procedure, make sure everything you might need is within your arm’s reach.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rubber gloves
- Tweezers (pointy ones work best)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antiseptic wipes (optional)
- Jar or container with lid.
To make sure you don’t get infected, it is safer to wear rubber gloves. But even if you don’t, it’s not a big deal. Just make sure to disinfect your hands and wash them thoroughly after you are done
If your dog gets scared easily, and you think it might turn its teeth on you, make sure you put a muzzle on it, or have someone assist you and hold its head from turning to you.
Keep your dog steady and calm
Suddenly grabbing your dog and having strange objects around, may confuse and scare it. In order to remove a tick safely, you need to keep your dog calm. You know best what works when it comes to calming your dog down. Pet and talk to your dog, this will help and make it feel relaxed and safe.
Prepare your tweezers
Take a pair of tweezers and disinfect them first. Then gently grab hold of the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Try not to move the tweezers until you are sure you secured it. Be careful not to pinch your dog’s skin. Tweezers can be replaced by other tick removal gadget.
Pull the tick out
Pull the tick out using a straight motion while maintaining a steady pressure. If the tick is not coming off easily, try turning the tweezers gently either clockwise or counterclockwise (– the tick is not screw-threaded) several times while maintaining a strong grip of the tick. This movements allows the barbs on the tick’s proboscis to be freed from the surrounding tissue.
Don’t squeeze or crush the tick. Its fluids may contain infectious material. After removing the tick, examine it to make sure you removed the head and mouth parts. If you did not manage to remove the whole tick, it’s best to take your pet to veterinarian to remove what’s left in the pet’s skin.
Kill the tick
Place the tick in a container filled with rubbing alcohol. It’s best to keep the tick in the container for a while, in case your dog starts displaying symptoms of a disease. In that case, the tick can be used to determine the cause of illness and prescribe adequate medication or therapy.
Disinfect the bite site
You should disinfect the bite site with antiseptic spray or wipes. Afterwards, keep an eye out for signs of infection. If the site remains red or inflamed, take your dog to the vet. Do not be alarmed if you notice a scab in that spot, that is normal.
Reward your dog
Praise your pet for being good. A nice tasty treat and some playtime could be a special reward for your brave and trusting friend.
Keep an eye on your pet
If you notice any symptoms, including reluctance to move, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes take your dog to the vet immediately.
Do a thorough check after spending a lot of time playing in the grass. And do a swift check for ticks anytime you scratch and pet your dog during playtime.