Removing ticks, or worse – ticks – from your dog may not be pleasant, but it’s important to do it quickly and correctly. Once you know how to get rid of ticks, it’s a fairly straightforward process.
Because they can transmit infectious organisms, ticks infect thousands of animals and humans each year with diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesia and ehrlichiosis. The pathogen can spread three to six hours after being bitten. The sooner you get rid of ticks, the less likely your dog is to get sick.
Removing a Tick from Your Dog
Using tweezers is the most common and effective way to remove ticks. But not all tweezers work. Most household tweezers have large, blunt tips. You should use pointed tweezers to avoid tearing the tick and spreading a possible infection in the bite area.
Spread out your dog’s fur and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight up in slow, steady motions. This will prevent the tick’s mouth from falling off and remaining in the skin. People usually think it’s the tick’s head that settles in the skin. But ticks don’t have heads in the traditional sense, so the things inserted into dogs are called “mouthparts.”
Another option that is easier to grasp is to use a lice hook. This is especially helpful if you live in a tick-prone area where your dog is a frequent host for pesky critters. There are different types of hooks such as Tick Tornado or Tick Stick. You just place the fork on either side of the scale and twist it.
Never use your fingers to remove a tick – not only is this ineffective, but squeezing it can inject infectious material
After removing the tick, wash your hands thoroughly, clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol, and rinse tweezers or tools with disinfectant.