by Kelly Marshall
Ticks can pose a serious health risk to your dog. If they attach to your dog’s skin they can cause irritation, pain and could pass on diseases. If your dog ends up with a tick it is very important that you remove it as soon as possible. Leaving the tick on your dog could increase the risk of infection. The problem is that many people do not know how to remove a tick or they do not know how to properly remove a tick.
Methods You Should Never Use To Remove a Tick
There are some methods of tick removal that have been passed down through generations and many of these methods are dangerous or just don’t work. One common method you may hear about is to burn the tick off. This is just dangerous. You should never go towards your dog with an open flame. You should know this is wrong and never attempt this method.
Another common method that you may have been told is to smother a tick with grease. This usually won’t work and can actually cause more harm than good. You don’t want your dog licking the grease, especially if you are using a substance that is toxic.
Proper Tick Removal
Proper tick removal starts with knowing what it is you need to accomplish. Obviously, you know your main goal is to remove the tick, but you also need to keep a couple other things in mind. You need to keep the area clean and sterile to reduce the risk of further irritating the area or causing an infection. You also need to be sure to remove the complete tick, including the head. Leaving the head could lead to further problems and serious infection.
Start preparing for tick removal by sterilizing your tools. You will need tweezers to remove the tick. Sterilize them by dipping them in rubbing alcohol. You can also sterilize the area by wiping it with alcohol. After sterilizing your tweezers and the area, you will grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not pull on the body as this will disconnect it from the head. Move the tweezers from side to side instead of pulling. It can help to put some pressure around the area as this will encourage the tick to release for the skin and make removal much easier.
Once you have removed the tick you need to put the tick in rubbing alcohol or discard it outside of your home. You do not want the tick to reattach to your dog, you or another family member. Finish the removal by cleaning the area again.
Removing a tick may seem a little intimidating at first, but it really is not that difficult if you take your time and are careful. You just need to be sure you completely remove the tick and keep the area clean before, during and after removal. Your dog will be very happy once you get the little creature out of his skin and you will probably feel better too.