Ticks are scary! However, they are fairly common in dogs, especially if your canine enjoys being outside. It’s especially concerning if a tick head stays stuck in your dog! That way the risks of possible infections are increased.
In this article we will go over how to find ticks on your dog, how to successfully remove them and what to do when a tick head is stuck in your dog.
How to check for ticks?
First of all, it’s always a good idea to wear gloves while checking your dog for ticks. That way your skin doesn’t come in direct contact with them.
Run your hands over your dog’s body, If you feel something, spread their fur so you can get a close look at the skin and make sure if it’s a tick or maybe just a skin tag. Most common spots where ticks love to attach are the ears, neck, between toes and groin.
You’re looking for a brown, black, tan, or reddish tear-shaped body that has eight legs. They can be as small as a sesame seed before a meal, or as large as a pea.
How to remove ticks from your dog?
For removing ticks you will need some good quality tweezers. Then grasp the tick by its head or mouth parts, as close to your dog’s skin as possible. When you’ve got a grip, then pull straight back. After that you can drop the tick into rubbing alcohol to kill it. Clean the area where you found the tick with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. If the tick’s head is still attached to your dog, don’t worry. Chances are that it will come out by itself.
What to do if a tick head is stuck in your dog?
In some cases, the head of the tick can get stuck in your dog. Mostly, the head will fall off by itself. However, the best decision would be to take some extra steps to prevent any possible infections.
Disinfecting the bite area
If the tick head is left behind in your dog’s skin, the first step would be to disinfect the area of the bite. Start of by cleaning the area with soap and water, or disinfect it with alcohol.
Visit a vet
The next step is to book an appointment with your vet! While there are ways to take the tick head out by yourself, the safest way is still to let a professional do it. Contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment so your dog can get the appropriate treatment.
Ticks aren’t something to joke around with. They can spread different diseases and that’s why it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
If the affected area turned red, painful or swollen — you should maybe even consider to take your dog to the emergency. In most cases some topical antibiotics will be prescribed, however, more severe infections will need oral antibiotics as well.
Most common misinformations about removing a tick head from your dog
Just take the head out with tweezers
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Ticks can get quite deep into your dog’s skin, and sometimes tweezers alone just won’t do it. That is especially true if just the head of the tick is left behind.
Ticks have very small heads and it can be very hard to even grab the head with the tweezers.
If you try to take the head out aggressively you could even injure your dog and cause the infection to spread further.
Petroleum jelly or nail varnish
Some people may suggest using vaseline aka petroleum jelly or even nail polish remover to tackle the tick head. However, neither of them will actually do anything. The only thing that they could possibly do is additionally irritate your dog’s skin.
Never burn a tick off
Now this advice is not only bad, but potentially dangerous as well. Don’t put any type of matches anywhere near your dog. You could seriously burn him and cause some serious injuries.
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