How to Remove an Embedded Tick From a Puppy

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A tick is a small, blood-feeding parasite from the arachnid family. When a tick encounters a host, such as your puppy, it will embed its head into his skin and begin feeding. An embedded tick puts your puppy at risk for several diseases, such as Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever and jaundice. Removing a tick from your puppy requires caution so you do not break the parasite's head off, leaving it within the skin. To remove a tick properly, you need a few simple household supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton balls
  • Mineral oil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tweezers
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Soak a cotton ball in mineral oil.

  • Part the fur surrounding the tick and place the soaked cotton ball onto its body.

  • Hold the cotton ball over the tick with light pressure for 1 minute. Remove the cotton ball and check to see if the tick has removed itself from your puppy's skin. If the tick is out of the skin, pick it up with the cotton ball, squeeze to kill it and throw it away.

  • If the tick is still in your puppy's skin, soak a second cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and place it over the tick. Hold the soaked cotton ball over the tick for one minute before checking to see if it has removed itself, as before.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to gently grab the tick by the thickest point of its body and gently pull it straight away from your puppy. Do not twist or yank, as you risk leaving the tick's head in the skin and putting your puppy at risk of infection and disease. Continue the light pulling until you have removed the tick from your puppy.

  • Wash the puppy's skin with a clean cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and take her to the vet as soon as possible for disease testing. If you live in an area where ticks are common, use medications to prevent ticks and make sure her vaccinations are up to date.

  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water for one minute after removing a tick from your puppy.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the head of the tick breaks off inside your puppy, do not attempt to extract it yourself; clean the area thoroughly with alcohol and take her to your veterinarian.

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References

  • "Ticks and What You Can Do About Them"; Roger and Ph.D. Drummond; 2004
  • "Puppy Care & Training"; Teoti Anderson; 2007
  • Photo Credit puppy image by Karol Grzegorek from Fotolia.com
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