Many dog owners have already faced the problem of removing a tick from their dog. This problem is particularly pressing in spring and summer when ticks wake up from hibernation and begin their hunt. The dangerous period of their activity may last from April to October, especially if the weather stays warm. Owners of dogs and puppies should be on the lookout to help their pets in time, and sometimes even save their lives. (Photo Credit: smerikal/Flickr )
Ticks usually attack dogs in places overgrown with bushes and high grass, in parks and forests. The insect pierces the dog’s skin with its proboscis and frees the place from the wool. Then the tick straightens the proboscis’ "thorns" to consolidate its position. That's why never try to just pull the tick out of your dog’s skin because the proboscis can break away from the insect’s body, stay inside the skin, and cause inflammation.
Inspect your dog or puppy after each walk and brush their hair. If you notice a tick that has stuck to your pet don’t try to grab and throw it away. To remove the insect in the right way try to start with dripping some oil, alcohol, or gasoline onto the tick. Quite soon the insect may loosen its grip, and then you can remove from your dog more safely.
The removal of the tick requires caution and care. You shouldn’t squeeze its body with your hands because in this case you can squeeze dangerous pathogens into the dog’s open wound. It is also important not to break the insect into pieces.
Do not forget about your own safety and be sure to wear gloves. This way you will avoid the possibility of contracting Lyme disease, or even Encephalitis.
So, what are the ways to remove a tick from your dog?
The use of liquids
Most suitable for this purpose are gasoline, iodine, vodka, alcohol, warm sunflower oil, and special medical substances. These liquids deprive the tick of the access to oxygen, and the insect has to relax its proboscis. In 20-30 minutes it can fall out of the wound. (Photo Credit: young@art/Flickr )
The use of tweezers
If the tick is still in its place, try to grip it with tweezers and rotate and unscrew it gently from the dog’s skin. You should hold it only near the proboscis to avoid getting poison into the wound. Yet, this method may be risky because you cannot always calculate your force and prevent squeezing the virus into the blood of your dog.
The use of threads
An alternative to tweezers can be a thread, or a string. You should tie the thread around the proboscis, and by stretching its ends in different directions raise the tick upward. This operation should be done slowly and carefully.
After removing the tick, don’t forget to treat your dog’s wound with a 5% solution of iodine.
What if the tick’s head stays in the skin?
If you have failed to get the insect’s head/proboscis out, the infection can go further, because a virus is contained in the ducts and salivary glands of the tick. Disinfect the skin around the wound, and get the head out with a sterile instrument. Then disinfect the wound again with iodine.
Do not dispose the tick that you have removed from your dog. Burn it, or give to a vet laboratory to find out if the tick was a carrier of dangerous diseases.