Removal of ticks is not a fun job, but is something most dog owners are faced with at one time or another. We highly recommend prevention measures to help avoid your dog bringing home these parasites. We offer several products that help control ticks on your dog.
Bio Spot, available at all our stores, has a drop formula, spray formula and a collar. Our first choice would be to apply the drop formula to your dog. The collar and spray work well, too. See one of our sales associates for more information on these products.
Should your dog get a tick, as they do occasionally, you need to remove it as soon as possible. If you live in an area or frequent an area high in tick population, be sure to check your dog regularly. You may want to give your dog a tick bath if you’ve been in “tick territory” as soon as you get home using a tick shampoo. Bio Spot makes a tick shampoo that works really well. Check your dog regularly, especially during the summer months, for any lumps. The tick will be about the size of a small raisin in its engorged state. Ticks like to imbed themselves near the head. However, they will embed themselves almost anywhere on your dog. Below is a picture of an engorged tick on a dog.
Once a tick has imbedded itself- into your dog, the removal tends to be a little more difficult. This is a simple procedure that you should be able to do at home, though. Take a pair of fine-tip tweezers or a tick removal instrument and grab the tick by the head right where it enters into the skin. Be sure to not grab the tick by the body. Using a smooth and gentle motion, pull the tick straight out. Be firm when doing this, though. Do not twist the tick. Should there be any tick remains under the skin, try to get out as much of it as possible. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all. The dog’s immune system should dislodge it through a small abscess. A complication of an imbedded tick or one that has been removed incorrectly is transmission of diseases or infections. If the engorged body should rupture, wash any exposed area with warm, soapy water immediately.
There are many myths about tick removal. Trying to burn the tick out will not make the tick back out of your dog. You will be taking a chance of burning your dog or even worse, catching your best friend on fire. Petroleum jelly and fingernail polish does not work well either. We would not recommend any of the “myth” methods.
Dispose of the tick by putting it into rubbing alcohol or burning it. When removing the tick, you may want to wear gloves to avoid any contamination from the tick. Apply antiseptic ointment to the bite area after the removal to help avoid infection. Sterilize the instruments by using rubbing alcohol, washing with hot soapy water or holding them over a flame. Wash your hands thoroughly. Should you encounter any problems contact your veterinarian.
Reprinted from Zamzows with permission.