How do I remove a tick from my pet?

Let’s face it. Ticks are gross. Wherever you find them. But they are especially gross when you find one that has been feeding on your pet and is big and fat like this…

engorged female tick photo

Engorged female brown dog tick. Image from Diagnostic Imaging Atlas.

Bleck! Now what?

You’ve probably heard some “tips” to get ticks off your pets. Things like:

  • Cover the tick with Vaseline
  • Light a match, blow it out, and then touch the hot match to the tick
  • Douse the tick in rubbing alcohol
  • Spray the tick with insect spray.

Please, do not try any of these! They don’t work, and some of them can actually hurt your pets!

Taking ticks off is really not as hard as it sounds. All you need is a pair of tweezers. Grasp the tick with the tweezers as close to your pet’s skin as you can. Then, using gentle pressure, slowly pull on the tick until it comes free. (This might take 1-2 minutes of steady pressure.)

A little squeamish about grabbing the tick with tweezers? We have a spray called Resultix that can help. A little spritz of this stuff on the tick, and it will remove itself from your pet! Then all you have to do is grab it and get rid of it! Come in anytime to pick up a bottle.

The goal is to get the entire tick, head and all. But if the head is so embedded that you can’t get it out, don’t worry. The the bite spot will not get infected, and the tick will not grow a new body (yes, we found that on the internet). In a day or two, your pet’s own immune system will heal the bite spot and push the tick head out.

It is important to take the tick off your pet. Although it is not common in our area, ticks can transmit some diseases to our furry family members, but need to stay attached for at least 24 hours to pass these diseases along. The sooner you find a tick and remove it, the less likely that your pets will contract any of these tick-borne diseases.

Concerned about a tick on your pet? Bring him in so we can take a look and show you how to remove the tick. Then let’s talk about a good tick preventative medication to keep this from happening again!

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