Although cats are often described as the mortal enemy of the average dog, dog owners know the real enemy is the tick. These tiny bugs can latch onto your dog with devastating health effects. Let’s take a look at the correct way to remove a tick from a pup.
Ticks can carry many different diseases. The two most common threats are Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Lyme disease can damage joints and kidneys while Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever introduces parasites to your dog’s organs that can kill it. Both are transmitted to your dog when the tick bites into skin and fluids are exchanged.
The web is full of a wide variety of advice regarding how to remove a tick from a pup. Most of it is less than optimal. To properly remove the tick with the minimum of pain to your pup while also limiting the risk of infection, take the following steps.
- Grab a pair of tweezers.
- Spread the hair around the tick so you can see down to the skin.
- Grab the tick where the head meets the skin with the tweezers.
- Pull the tick straight up away from the skin. Do not twist it.
- Place the tick into a small cup or plastic bag and pour rubbing alcohol into it. This will kill the tick.
- Apply rubbing alcohol to your pup’s skin where the tick bit it, followed by an anti-bacterial lotion.
There are a couple of areas where people go wrong when dealing with ticks on their dogs. The first is to try to burn the tick to get it to stop biting the dog. Think about that for a second. What about your dog’s skin?! The chances of you burning both your dog and the tick are just too high.
A second problem area is the disposal of the tick. Make sure to kill the tick first by putting it in rubbing alcohol. If you flush it without doing so, the tick may crawl back up the waste pipe into your bathroom. Yes, gross!
Ticks are nasty little creatures, so make sure to check your dog regularly for them. If you find one, follow these directions and your dog will be good as new with a minimum of fuss.
Annie Klacks is with Animaroo.com. She has owned dogs her entire life and removed more than a few ticks.