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How Do I Remove Ticks From My Dog?

In some areas ticks are a fact of life. If you live in a place where your pet can pick up ticks, tís a good idea to consider using a tick preventive such as spot-on tick control. This kind of tick control is usually contained in flea products. However, even protected dogs can sometimes pick up a tick. Many people are uncertain about how to safely remove a tick from their dog.

Hereís how to safely remove a tick from your dog

  1. Itís best to use tweezers or a special tick removal device to remove a tick from your dog. Although many people think you can dab petroleum jelly, alcohol or even use a hot match on a tick to make it let go, these methods run the risk of making the tick dig in deeper. If this happens, the tick can insert more saliva into the wound, which can lead to your dog becoming ill  from the tick bite. So, use tweezers when trying to remove a tick. This is the safest method for your dogís sake.
  2. With your tweezers you should grave the tick by its head at the entry point of the wound. Do not grab the tickís body.
  3. Pull the tick slowly but firmly away from your dogís body. Make sure that you donít twist or turn the tick. You do not want to separate the tickís head from its body since the head could then burrow down deeper into the wound. Make sure the tick stays in one piece as you pull it away from your dog.
  4. Once the tick is removed you should place it in a jar of alcohol to kill it. Do not squish it! This will release bacteria that could be dangerous to you and your dog. Do not use your fingers to remove a tick! Ticks carry diseases and squashing at tick with your fingers is a good way to pick up disease. Flushing the tick down the toilet or washing it down the sink doesnít kill a tick. It simply moves it away.
  5. Make sure that you clean your dogís tick bite with disinfectant. You can also apply a small amount of a triple antibiotic ointment.

After the tick is gone your dog may have a small welt at the site of the tick bite. This is not uncommon. He may also have a slight skin reaction. If the area is itching or irritated you may want to spray a little hydrocortisone spray on it. It may take up to a week for the area to heal. In some cases there may be a permanent scar that leaves the area without hair. This is usually a reaction to the tickís saliva.

Many people worry about the head of the tick staying in the wound if they remove the tick. This rarely happens.

Again, the best way to keep ticks at bay is to use tick prevention along with your flea control. Ask your veterinarian about tick  prevention for your area. In some places a Lyme disease vaccination is advisable but only is the ticks in your area are known to carry Lyme disease. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease and itís not found in all parts of the U.S.


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