How to remove ticks and care for tick bites

Health, last updated 29th, Jul 2015, Neha Manchanda


Whenever Myshka, my 4.5 year old Labrador retriever comes back from a walk or fun time in the park, it is my responsibility to check for ticks on her. Grass and wooded area are prone to ticks and they can attach themselves to pooches and if left unattended cause infestation.

In an article earlier, we had discussed about ticks and fleas – their definition, characteristics, living and management and diagnosis. In this article we elaborate on how you can take care of tick bites on your pooches.

Definition of ticks:

Ticks are common ectoparasites that feed off the blood of their host. Commonly found in wooded areas, grass and shrubs, ticks are the carriers of different types of diseases such as tick fever, lyme disease and tick paralysis.

Ticks are not only found on dogs but also on cats, birds, reptiles and other mammals too.

Why to be cautious?

Rains and humidity act like an incubator for ticks, suddenly they seem to be everywhere. As a pet parent, you will have to be careful all the time. If ticks are left unattended on the body, they multiply real fast and can cause an infestation. An infestation is more difficult to control than a few occasional ticks on the body.

When an infestation sets in, ticks will be everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere – beds, shoes, walls, furniture – everywhere!! The best way to avoid an infestation is to take out the ticks every day.

Steps to remove ticks

If you find ticks on your pooch, here is what you should do:

·         Remove the tick immediately

o    Use a fine tipped tweezers and pull the tick straight out. If you do not have tweezers, wear rubber gloves and grip the tick firmly. Pull the tick straight, without twisting it, else the pincers will stay inside the skin.

·         Getting rid of the tick

o    Do not try to smother the tick with petroleum jelly or alcohol and at no cost try to burn the tick.

o    While removing ticks, keep a small bowl with phenol water to drown the ticks. If not drowned, the ticks will crawl right out.

·          Caring for the tick bite

o    Wash the tick bite with luke warm water and disinfectant soap. Wipe dry with a soft towel. Often when pulled out, the bite may ooze blood. It is important to clean the area well to avoid any infections.

o    If the bite is deep, use a mild dog friendly antibiotic to help heal the skin.

o    If you are applying anti biotic ointment, wipe with luke warm water every time you apply the ointment. Keep the skin clean and free from dirt.

If your pooch shows such symptoms as lethargy, loss of appetite, fever and loose stools, connect with a veterinarian immediately to rule out any tick borne illness.

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