How to Safely Remove a Tick from a Dog?

The tick is an external and very resistant parasite that will cling to your dog’s skin during an outing or during a walk and feed on its blood. A tick can stay attached for days and even weeks if you are not careful. What is the risk for the dog? Why is it important to remove a tick very quickly? How to remove a tick correctly and safely? If you do it the right way, you will see that it is actually easy to remove a tick from your dog.

Why you should remove a tick from your dog

You should always inspect your dog for ticks after a walk. Ticks are responsible for different illnesses in dogs, including:

  • Piroplasmosis: this is a very common pathology. The tick’s saliva transmits a parasite that destroys the dog’s red blood cells, causing significant damage to vital organs. They can be deadly if left unchecked. In the range of vaccines protecting the dog, there is a vaccine against piroplasmosis. In dogs, a primary vaccination is done from the age of 5 months with 2 injections at 3 or 4-week intervals. Depending on the dog’s lifestyle, a booster is given 1 to 2 times a year.
  • Lyme disease: this disease is common in humans and dogs. It is difficult to diagnose and can appear several months after the bite. It may leave serious sequelae (joint, neurological or skin disorders).
  • Ehrlichiosis:  this disease can be fatal. The bacteria carried by the tick multiply in the blood and cause high fever and haemorrhages. 

What are the symptoms of a tick bite? 

They are numerous and are not specific to this or that disease. The problem is, first of all, that the dog is not particularly bothered by a tick bite compared to that of an itchy flea. Sometimes the animal has no symptoms.

As with any other underlying or declared disease, the symptoms that can alert you are varied:

  • Loss of appetite,
  • depression,
  • weight loss,
  • lameness,
  • fever,
  • urine staining,
  • vomiting…

There are as many symptoms as in other pathologies. Generally, you’ll notice a change in your dog’s behavior. 

How to easily remove this parasite?

If you notice a tick attached to your dog, you must remove it as soon as possible. Above all, do not remove it by hand or tweezers, as part of it may remain stuck in your dog. 
In the past, ether and tweezers were used. But that time is over! Nowadays, there is a very practical accessory: the anti-tick hook. A very inexpensive accessory that absolutely must find a place in your dog’s care kit / first aid kit. It allows you to remove the entire tick without pain for your companion.

Proceed as follows:

  •  Start by placing your dog in a quiet place and spreading his hair to release the tick. Put on gloves for safety.
  • Insert the hook between the dog’s skin and the tick.
  • Make several turns (as if you are screwing something), but without pulling the tick. It will unhook itself after a few turns.
  • Make sure the tick disappears completely, then disinfect the area concerned with a disinfectant lotion for dogs.
  • Do the same and pass your hands to the hydro-alcoholic gel.
  • The parasite must be trapped in adhesive tape or an airtight box and thrown in the trash.

If you don’t have the equipment or are unable to remove it,  go to the veterinarian immediately

What if the tick’s head remains in the skin?

Unfortunately, the tick’s head (rostrum) remains stuck in the skin. What should be done then?

This part comprising hooks is fragile, which makes its extraction even more difficult. You can spot the presence of the stuck head with a small black dot on the sting site at the bite site.

First, disinfect the wound. For this, you can use Betadine diluted to 10% or even Biseptine, Chlorhexidine diluted to 5%. Monitor the area of ​​the bite during the following week. In case of swelling and in the slightest doubt, make an appointment with your veterinarian. It is more prudent.

Note that if the head of a tick remains planted in the bit of your animal (or your cat), it is totally impossible for the tick to grow back! 

How can I effectively protect my dog ​​against ticks?

Animals must be regularly treated against ticks  throughout the year. The dosage is varied, and your veterinarian, depending on the lifestyle, age, weight, etc., of your dog will recommend the most suitable treatment (spray, pipettes, cachets, collars, etc.), the way and the frequency of its use.