How to Remove a Tick
Even though tick rhymes with ick, don’t ignore them just because they are gross. Prevent them if you can because ticks can carry diseases that affect both humans and animals alike.
We encourage all pets to be protected against ticks using a product such as Frontline, Nexgard, Revolution and the like. These are given or applied monthly and should prevent ticks from attaching to your pet. Even if you don’t live in a wooded area or spend much time outdoors with your dog, ticks can be in the grass in your yard. Prevention is the best medicine!
If you live in the Midwest like we do, tick season runs April through November. After you have been outdoors with your pet, do a thorough inspection of your pet’s fur. Pay particular attention to the head and neck areas. Running your hands through their coat or combing them will help you find those pesky ticks. And who doesn’t enjoy a good rub down?
How to Remove a Tick
- Squirt rubbing alcohol on the tick. Push the fur away from the tick.
- Grasp as close to the head of the tick as you can, right where it is attaching to your pet. You can use tweezers or your fingers. Grasp the tick firmly on the flattened topside and bottomside. You do not want to pinch on the sides where the legs are.
- With a firm grasp, take a deep breath and pull the tick straight out from your pet. Having someone else steady your pet (or you) may help.
- You may notice a bit of skin come out with the head of the tick and this is normal. The area might be a little red or irritated as well.
- Make the tick go away. Permanently.
- After recovering from the heebie jeebies, clean the area where the tick was attached with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Keep an eye on the area for a few days to make sure it is healing.
- Check with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is vaccinated for tick borne diseases, including Lyme disease.
If you have any questions or are not comfortable removing a tick on your own, please call your veterinarian. If you are curious (and have a good stomach), the Tick Encounter Resource Center has everything you need to know about ticks and how to identify them.