How to Get Seed Ticks Off My Dog

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Seed ticks can transmit dangerous diseases to your dog.
Seed ticks can transmit dangerous diseases to your dog. (Image: dogs in the grass image by Lars Christensen from Fotolia.com)

Seed ticks are the larvae that hatch from tick eggs and turn into nymphs, which then form into adult ticks, states the Urban Integrated Pet Management in the Southern Region. With six legs and powerful mouth-parts, seed ticks can attach to your dog and inject it with disease-carrying saliva. Not only is the seed tick dangerous to your dog, it also can affect you and your family. As soon as you detect a seed tick on your dog, remove it immediately using caution and care.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves, paper towel or tissue
  • Hot needles
  • Alcohol, turpentine, chloroform, kerosene or camphor
  • Blunt tweezers
  • Mild soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Alcohol

Cover your hands with gloves, if possible. If not, shield your fingers with a tissue or paper towel. Try not to touch the tick with bare skin, as the tick can spread infectious agents through its mucous membranes into broken skin.

Touch the tick with a hot needle, or apply a few drops of alcohol, turpentine, chloroform, kerosene or camphor on the tick to relax its mouth-parts, suggests Urban Integrated Pet Management in the Southern Region. It is often difficult to remove the tick with the mouth-parts intact; however, it is important to do so as they can cause a secondary infection if left in the dog.

Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with blunt tweezers. Keeping close to the skin will help to prevent the head from becoming detached upon removal.

Pull the tick straight out using steady and gentle pressure. Keep pulling if the tick doesn’t immediately come out, as it can take a few minutes for the tick to detach its mouth-parts from the dog. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick, as doing so could cause the mouth-parts to detach from the body and stay inside the dog.

Wash the tick bite site with mild soap and hydrogen peroxide to prevent infection once the tick is removed. Apply a soothing antibiotic ointment to the spot, as well. Keep your dog from licking the ointment, as doing so will remove it and its potential to heal.

Place the tick inside a jar of alcohol to kill it. It may be helpful to take the tick to the veterinarian to determine if it is potentially carrying Lyme disease.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your dog on a tick preventative all year long to prevent future bites. Familyvet.com suggests working with your veterinarian to choose which product is safest for your pet. Many over-the-counter preventatives have been proven unsafe and ineffective, states the site; therefore, purchase medication from your veterinarian to ensure its safety and ability to work.

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