Author, Darlene Wagner for Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
Ugh! You and your precious pooch have just returned home after a pleasant walk around the neighborhood and, to your disgust, you find a nasty blood-sucking parasite known as a tick has hitched a ride on Fido’s leg. As you know, ticks are not only disgusting and a terrible inconvenience, but they can also be devastatingly harmful to your dog if not taken care of properly. Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Canine Anaplasmosis, just to name a few, to your dog, resulting in symptoms ranging from fatigue to death. So, what should you as a devoted pet parent do when you discover a tick on your pooch? You must remove it! Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on the safest and most sanitary method of removing a tick that has latched on to your dog.
#1 ~ Get the Right Tools
- Gloves ~ any pair will do as long as they fit quite tight to your skin, as some ticks are tiny and you want to ensure your gloves don’t get in the way
- Tweezers ~ sterilize before use with rubbing alcohol
- Antiseptic ~ either one made specifically for use on pets, or an over-the-counter brand like Neosporin will do
- Rubbing alcohol ~ fill a plastic bag (a zipper sandwich bag works well) partially with rubbing alcohol and place the tick(s) in the bag once extracted
#2 ~ Remove the Tick
Depending on the size and behavior of your dog, you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member when it comes time to remove the tick. For your safety and that of your pooch, you don’t want your pooch to squirm or move suddenly and disrupt the removal process. Once you are certain he is either held firm, or he’s in a position of comfort and you know he will remain calm and still, pull his hair back from around the tick and use the sterilized tweezers to clasp the body of the tick, as close to the base (where the tick has attached to your dog) as possible. You don’t want to pinch the tweezers too tight, or pull suddenly, as this can sever the head and leave the mouth in your dog’s skin. To extract the tick, pull slowly and steadily in one fluid movement until the entire tick is removed.
#3 ~ Complete the Treatment
Drop the body of the tick into the plastic bag of alcohol, which will immediately kill the tick. Immediately wipe the bite wound with antiseptic and be sure to re-sterilize the tweezers before putting them away.
Note ~ if you suspect your dog may have contracted a tick-borne disease or infection, secure the bag that contains the tick and bring it to your vet, along with your pooch, for a thorough review.
#4 ~ Follow-up
Keep a close eye on the area where the tick bit your dog, remaining on the lookout for possible infection or irritation. If your dog shows symptoms such as swollen joints, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and/or pain, it is possible the tick passed on a disease and you should visit your vet without delay.
So, now you know the proper method of tick removal that will keep both you and your pet safe. Don’t be remiss and simply squish the tick upon removal as it can secrete infected fluids. Always dispose in alcohol, which is the best way to guard against infection and disease.
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Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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