Removing a Tick from Your Pet
Posted on June 8, 2012 by Joy of Living No comments
Party Marty here with some tips on how to safely and efficiently remove a tick from your pet’s skin. Nasty little pests, they are!
It is important to remove a tick quickly, but do not rush the procedure as you could do more harm than good.
Upon removing a tick (with tweezers or a pet-approved tick-removal tool), do not simply throw it away or flush it down the toilet. Instead, put it in a screw-top jar with some rubbing alcohol. If your pet subsequently gets sick from the bite, you can take your pet and the tick to the veterinarian’s office for testing.
Be sure to wear latex or rubber gloves when removing the tick. Ticks carry infective agents that could enter your bloodstream through any breaks or cracks in your skin or through your mucous membranes. Do not touch your eyes, nostrils or mouth during this procedure.
Enlist some help. To avoid having your pet squirm or run away before you have removed the tick, have someone help you to distract or hold the pet still.
First treat the bite area with some rubbing alcohol and using the tweezers, grasp the tick as closely as possible to your pet’s skin. Pull straight up with steady, even pressure. Then, place the tick in the jar.
Be careful not to jerk or twist the tick! This can cause the mouth-parts to remain embedded in your pet or may even cause the tick to release infective fluids. Likewise, don’t squeeze or crush the body of the tick for the same reason.
Sometimes, you just won’t be able to get the entire tick and the mouth parts will remain in your pet’s skin. If the area does not seem red or inflamed, simply disinfect it and resist trying to remove the mouth-parts. A warm compress to the area can help, but do not use the tweezers to attempt to get them out.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect the bite site and be sure to wash your hands well even though you were wearing gloves. Then, sterilize the tweezers with alcohol or by running them over a flame.
Finally, keep an eye on the bite site and check for any signs of infection. If it is red and inflamed or becomes such later, take your pet to the vet along with the tick in the jar.
(Thanks to aspca.org for these tips.)