Removing Ticks from Your Dog

As tick season rolls in, you could probably use a refresher on how to remove one from your dog safely. Below, your Indianapolis veterinarian outlines five simple steps:

Prepare Alcohol

Before beginning, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol in a small jar or container. This will serve as the proper receptacle for the tick once you’ve removed it from your dog’s skin. Throwing the tick in the trash or flushing it down the toilet won’t kill it, but alcohol will. Plus, you can save the tick in case your vet needs to examine the specimen at a later time.

Gather Supplies

Now, set about gathering your supplies. In addition to the alcohol receptacle and the original container of rubbing alcohol, you’ll need a pair of latex gloves for your own safety and a solid set of tweezers for removing the tick. Grab a few gauze pads for disinfecting later.

Remove Tick

You’re now ready to remove the tick from your dog. Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol over the bite area, then grasp the tick with your tweezers. You’ll want to try to grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible so the entire tick—including its pincers—will be removed. Pull the tick straight out with even pressure.

There is a chance the tick’s head and pincers will remain in your dog’s skin even if you’ve used the proper technique. You can try applying a warm cloth to the area, which can expel the pincers. If that doesn’t work, see your vet for advice.

Disinfect Bite Zone

Once the tick is removed and placed in the alcohol, put a bit of rubbing alcohol over the bite zone to disinfect it. Remove your gloves and wash your hands. Remember to disinfect your tweezers with the alcohol.

Monitor Bite Zone

Remember to watch the bite zone closely over the next week or so. If you see any redness, inflammation, or anything else abnormal, call your Indianapolis vet right away. Don’t get rid of the dead tick until you’re sure your dog isn’t exhibiting any symptoms.

Using these five easy steps, removing a tick from your dog shouldn’t be a hassle. Ask your vet about ticks in your area and what sorts of diseases they may carry.

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