Easy Tick Removal From Dogs

By Shanon Ottaway

Ticks are nasty little critters that can bring disease to your dog. If you find one attached to your dog, don't panic. There is an easy way to remove a tick from your dog that will help minimize the chance of infection.


Ticks attach themselves to a dog by inserting their mouth parts into the dog's skin, where they feed off the dog's blood. They often carry bacteria that be dangerous; Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs by ticks. It is important to carefully remove these parasites and minimize the amount of saliva and bacteria that are transferred to your dog.


It's a good idea to wear surgical gloves before handling the tick. If you have any alcohol available, spray it on the tick in order to immobilize it. Ticks have pincher-like teeth that dig into your dog's skin, so stunning them can loosen their hold and make them easier to remove. Next, take a pair of tweezers and grip the tick at the head, close to the mouth parts if possible. Do not grip the tick at its body; it is possible for the body to separate from the head, leaving the tick's pinchers still in your dog's skin. Gently apply pressure and pull the tick straight out of the skin. Go slowly, and do not yank or twist the tick. You want to be careful so the tick does not become crushed, which could release more bacteria into your dog's skin or cause the tick's blood to get into the wound. If it is easier, you can use your fingers to remove the tick instead of tweezers, but do not do this if you cannot get a good grip and if you do not have surgical gloves. If any part of the tick's head or mouth parts remain in the skin, carefully try to remove them. The dog's immune system will usually get rid of these remainders on its own, though an abscess or infection may occur. If you are uncertain, call your veterinarian to make sure your dog is OK.


After you have successfully removed the tick, do not just crush it with your fingers or flush it. Instead, put the tick in a container of alcohol, which will kill it. Your dog may have a welt from where the tick was embedded. It is important to clean the area carefully after you remove the tick to help prevent infection. Swab the location with disinfecting solution such as Betadine, and follow up with some triple antibiotic ointment.


If you have any questions or concerns about infection or proper tick removal, contact your veterinarian. Be careful, use gloves, and follow up by properly disposing of the tick and cleaning the area properly. Wash your hands after you are done removing the tick. Do not attempt to use smothering or burning methods to trick a tick into coming out. They do not usually work, and using a hot or burning match could be dangerous to you and your dog.