There’s only one right way of removing ticks from dogs and several wrong ways. I’m going to tell you how to do it the right way, but first I want to tell you a quick story about how I overcame my tick phobia.
The fiasco began last spring after letting my dogs roam the forest around my summer camp. I wasn’t worried…the property is well-fenced and they always come when they’re called.
THIS TIME, they came back with guests. That’s right. Hundreds of ticks. No exaggeration.
MARCH IS NATIONAL TICK AWARENESS MONTH
March is National Tick Awareness Month! Prevention is the best form of defence against ticks. Talk to us today to find out more about the various options available for your pet!https://t.co/vcydehaXq8 #TickTalk
— Lifeline Animal Clinic (@Lifeline_Animal) March 3, 2018
A Bottle of Wine Isn’t Necessary for Removing Ticks From Dogs.
For the record, I’d like to say I did remove the ticks correctly using tweezers and a firm grip close to the mouth part of the tick. Armed with a bottle of Merlot and a barbecue torch, I set to work. It took hours.
I’d also like to mention that I didn’t use the barbecue torch around my dog. The torch is used to kill the ticks after removal.
Hopefully your experience isn’t nearly so traumatizing.
THE RIGHT WAY FOR REMOVING TICKS FROM DOGS
- Use fine-tipped tweezers or special gadgets available at pet stores or the veterinarian’s office. Some veterinarians provide free tick-removal devices.
- Grasp the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible, next to the tick’s mouth.
- Pull in a quick, clean motion without twisting your wrist.
- Afterwards, wipe the area with a sterilized swab to reduce the chance of infection.
Prevention Is Key
The tick population in North America and other parts of the world is on the rise. Only deer ticks (black-legged ticks) carry the dreaded Lyme disease, but all ticks can transmit any number of diseases that you want to avoid.
If you live in an area where the tick population is endemic, make sure to use a topical or oral tick prevention medicine. Ask your veterinarian for the best ones and make sure your pet is in good health before administering the medication.
Tell the veterinarian about any over-the-counter medications you are, or have been, giving your dog. Some of the prescriptions the veterinarian might prescribe are formulated to treat fleas and worms as well and you don’t want to double-up on those treatments.
DOGS DON’T WEAR SOCKS
No matter how many times someone tells you to smother the tick, or touch a flame to the tick’s back, don’t do it. These are myths that could seriously harm your dog. The best way to remove ticks from your dog is the simplest: Pull it out with tweezers being careful to leave the head intact.
IF THE HEAD IS NOT INTACT WHEN YOU REMOVE THE TICK FROM YOUR DOG don’t panic. You should try to pluck it out with the tweezers. If it’s embedded deeply, the veterinarian might need to remove it.
SANITIZE SANITIZE SANITIZE.
Don’t forget to sterilize the spot with an alcohol swab.
And finally, have your dog tested for Lyme Disease. If your dog doesn’t test positive, ask the veterinarian about a vaccination.