How to Remove Ticks Off Your Pet

It's important to remove ticks properly

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.

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  1. i dissagree with how you attempted to use arctick.
    i located a tick on my grandson, i sprayed it once, the tick froze instantly, and i removed it so easily without leaving any body parts behind, and the sorrounding skin area showed no signs of irritation in any way.

    i believe that if you freeze the tick and kill it instantly it can now
    be removed easily and safely.

    i recomend the arctick tick removal to be used on family
    members, and if you have pets they also have arctick for them.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences on removing ticks.

  3. Easier tick removal- put a gob of hand soap (I use the cheap antibacterial kind) on a cotton ball, and soak the tick with it for at least 20 seconds. The tick will let go of your dog and its head will be out of the dogs skin. Simply pick itup with the cotton ball and flush it. Works every time!

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Michelle: thanks for sharing your excellent suggestion.

  5. Thank you s.o much with your experiences. I have 4 dogs and 3 cats and 1 dog has a terrible problem already due to my inexperience and knowledge about removing ticks.

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