Ticks are horrible things as we all know, they are prevalent in these parts which is the joy of living where we do! Now ticks do carry Lymes disease and a former colleague of mine suffered with this after being bitten by a tick so by no means am I trying to downplay how particularly nasty these little creatures are, however, having lived around the New Forest for half of my life and now up here in glorious Surrey, I have removed 100’s from the dogs and several from myself and Jeremy so just wanted to pass on OUR way of dealing with them.
First of all, don’t panic! You may find a tiny little one crawling over the fur or even a big blood engorged one, they do fall off when full so you may even have seen one on the floor, they look about the size of a pea and are bluey grey in colour. From my travels working in Switzerland looking after dogs I have found the best tick removing tool to be Metal tick tweezers, they are a reverse tweezer so open when you squeeze and are closed when left alone. This means they don’t squidge the tick, just hold it gently, giving you just enough grip to hold it securely.
You need to part the fur so you can get a good view of the tick, squeeze the tweezers so they open and place over the ticks body, as close to the skin as you can get. Release the tweezers so they close on the tick and then just TWIST! It doesn’t matter if you go clockwise or anticlockwise, just keep twisting until you feel the tick come away, just be careful not to pull away too soon as you could pull the tick away, leaving its mouth parts in the skin. How you dispose of the tick is then up to you, I personally get great pleasure from squeezing them until they pop, however that’s just me! Washing them down the sink would do just as well! Some people then swab the area with a disinfectant/Hibiscrub, which is fine, though not something we have ever done.
If the tick comes off awkwardly, you may leave the mouth parts in the skin, or part of them. We have always just left it as it is, no digging to try and remove it. Just keep an eye on it, the body will often push the bits out, just a like a splinter or it may form a little scab which will take the mouth parts with it when it comes off. So, that’s it, no great panic or anything to worry about. Just a case of removing the tick as easily as possible and then being vigilant that nothing has changed at the site of removal, no rash or swellings etc.
The most important thing is just to keep your eye on it, if in any doubt then please seek veterinary/medical advice, especially in signs of infection or abscess. Our thoughts are based purely on our own experiences and are never intended to replace veterinary advice at any time.
Metal Tick Tweezers - http://www.pettastic-petsupplies.co.uk/pet-tick-tweezers-metal-7-cm-suitable-for-your-dog-cat-etc-414-p.asp
- other suppliers available just search online
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