Dog Health
Animal Parasites
Ticks and Mites

How do you remove a tick from a dog?



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  • Step 1.) Wear latex gloves to protect yourself. Use a pair of tweezers or a specially-designed tick removal tool to grasp the tick at the point of attachment. This should be done as close to the skin as possible. Step 2.) Be very careful not to squeeze the body of the tick, as this may cause bacteria and disease containing materials to be injected into the site. Step 3.) Pull the tick straight out from the skin slowly and steadily (without twisting or turning). Some of your dog's skin may come off with the tick, but this is normal. If bleeding occurs, apply light pressure to the area. Step 4.) Once removed, the tick should be handled carefully. While some people prefer to flush ticks down the toilet, saving the tick for further identification is a good idea. Place the tick in a small airtight container (like a pill vial or jar). You may wish to add some rubbing alcohol to the container. Label the container with the date and store in case future illness occurs, as identification may become necessary. Step 5.) If part of the tick's head still appears to be embedded, use the tweezers to gently pull it out. If some of the head cannot be removed, do not become alarmed. This should fall off eventually and rarely causes complications. Step 6.) After tick removal, clean your dog's skin at the bite area with mild soap and water. Watch this spot for several days in case of further irritation or infection. If the area does not clear up in a few days, contact your veterinarian. *NOTE: There are really no shortcuts that can make a tick release itself from its host - a tick will not voluntarily detach until its meal is complete. DO NOT apply hot matches, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol or other chemicals to the site. These methods are not affective and can actually be harmful to your dog.
  • Cover the tick with oil or Vaseline. It won't be able to breath and will back out and let go. This is the safest way to insure that there are no bug parts left in the dog.
  • It's the head of the tick you have to be concerned about. We get them in Canada and I've only had to remove a tick once. The oil didn't work so I phoned the vet and she said to take tweezers and very carefully pull the tick straight out (don't twist clock-wise as previously advised) and it's a two man job because it will be slightly painful for the dog. After the tick is out be sure the head is attached and if not take your dog to the vet immediately. If it is then bathe the dog's small wound with a mild disinfectant.
  • My neighbor (an ex-vet nurse) used a piece of cotton wool, well soaked in nail polish remover and rubbed the tic gently all over. It took about a minute or so for the tic to get loose and drop off. We then rinsed the area with luke warm water and the dog was fine throughout the whole procedure (no pain) and afterwards (no infection/irritation).
  • I just used WD40 on a cotton swab to remove a tick from my 3 lb Chihauhau. I gently placed the damp swab on top of the partially exposed tail end of the tick and after about 2 minutes it backed itself completely out, head and all.