Dogs have been known to pick up a tick now and then even if they are on preventative pet drugs like Frontline Plus or Revolution. Understanding the best method for removing these critters can be useful to your dog’s overall health.
There are a huge variety of ticks in the U.S. and some can cause serious medical conditions for dogs such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis. Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks while Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is most commonly transferred by American dog ticks. Other ticks that don’t cause diseases are still harmful to your dog as they survive by sucking your dog’s blood.
You may assume that taking a tick off your dog is easy, however many owners make mistakes during the process. The most common issue owners face when trying to remove a tick is simply grabbing at it and pulling it out with force. This typically doesn’t work because in most instances the tick has burrowed its head well into the dog’s skin, so when your rip it out, the head can be left inside the dog. In some cases, if the tick is still alive, it can regenerate sensory organs and limbs, allowing it to continue to suck your dog’s blood until you find the parasite again.
There are certain steps you can take to avoid these mistakes when you find a tick on your pooch. You can start by dipping a cotton ball in mineral oil and then placing the ball over the tick for one minute. You might also want to invest in pet products like Arctick For Pets, a non-toxic tick treatment that is sprayed directly onto the tick, killing it instantly. This will loosen the tick’s grip and make it easier to get out properly. After a minute of holding the cotton ball or once the tick is no longer moving, try to take it out using tweezers. Try to grab the skin surrounding the tick in order to see its head, as this is your target. Make sure to avoid grabbing its body. Once you see the head, clasp it between the tweezers and then pull it out firmly directly outward.
Never squish the tick once it is removed as this can put you at risk of getting diseases if the parasite is infected. Instead, stick it in a glass of rubbing alcohol until it is dead. Once the tick is taken care of, you might want to apply topical antibiotics like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray on the site where the tick was one your dog to avoid itch or bacterial growth.