How to Remove Ticks Off Your Pet
Removing ticks from our pets properly is very important in the prevention of many tick transmitted diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis. The most common mistake animal guardians make in removing ticks is not removing the whole tick by either attempting to twist the burrowed tick out of the skin and/or leaving in the tick head.
For tick removal, I first instruct clients to hold a cotton ball immersed in mineral oil against the tick for up to one minute. Using tweezers or special tick removal products such as Resultix tick spray, it is best to then grab the skin that surrounds the tick, trying to grab its head. Try to avoid the tick’s body. In one steady motion and without jerking, it is then best to pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Twisting usually leaves the head behind. The most common mistake made is squashing the tick, which may lead to the transmission of disease causing bacteria into a pet’s bloodstream.
Removing the tick with bare fingers is also not recommended due to the risk of disease transmission into the animal guardian. Burning the tick with a match also should not be used. After removing the tick, placing it in a glass of rubbing alcohol will often kill it. It is not unusual to see a bump or mild skin reaction after removing a tick, which can be treated with topical antibiotics and/or hydrocortisone. Of course the best prevention of tick transmitted disease to our pets and/or us is to use a good effective tick control measure such as topical tick preventatives Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix II.