How to Remove a Tick
From your Veterinary Medicine Guide
How to safely remove a tick from your pet.
- Use latex exam gloves to examine your pet for ticks. Examine using good lighting.
- Check your pet daily for ticks by thoroughly feeling for any lumps under the hair. Pay close attention to ears, around face, eyes, legs, and belly.
- Ticks will range in size from the size of a sesame seed to the size of a fingernail (engorged).
- When is tick is found embedded in the skin, use a fine pointed tweezers at the point of attachment, and grasp the tick head firmly. Remember to wear latex gloves when doing this.
- Using slow, steady, and firm traction, pull the tick straight out from the skin.
- It is critical to NOT squeeze the tick body at any time -- this can inject more potential pathogens in to you or your pet while the tick is embedded.
- Cleanse the skin with mild soap and water.
- If a small part of the tick breaks off, you can try to remove it as you would a splinter, but it is probably best to leave it alone. The body will 'eject' it in time.
- Place the tick in a jar of alcohol, noting the date, in case of future illness. Tick identification and location of tick infestation will be important.
- Do NOT use a match or caustic materials to try to smother the tick or get the tick to 'back out'. This doesn't work, and may be causing the tick to regurgitate more saliva (and potential pathogens) into the skin.
- Talk to your vet about effective tick control (spray, powder, spot-on, or collar) for your pet.
- Check pet daily, especially in the spring when ticks are most common.
More How To's from your Guide to Veterinary Medicine