How to remove ticks from dogs

TikTok user brushes dog's fur back to find dozens of ticks

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Ticks can carry a number of infectious organisms, and every year ticks infect thousands of animals and people with an array of diseases. Pathogen transmission can occur as quickly as three to six hours after a tick bite, so the sooner you get rid of it the less chance there is your dog will fall ill. Ticks range in size from almost impossible to see with the naked eye to varieties the size of a human fingertip. Ticks can survive and thrive in a number of areas including woods, grass, lawns, forests and even more urban city areas.

How do I know if my dog has ticks?

After feeding, ticks usually become big enough to spot and will normally surface in the form of a small bump on your pet’s skin.

The Blue Cross advises you to run your hands over your dog’s body when you get back from going for a walk to properly check.

Ticks tend to attach themselves to areas surrounding a dog’s head, neck, ears and feet.

The small pests don’t fly or jump, instead climbing or dropping onto your dog’s coat when they brush past them unintentionally.

How to remove ticks from your dog

Twisting them off your dog is likely the best removal method.

Pet shops and the like often stock handy tick-removal devices to simplify the process as much as possible.

The most important thing to watch out for is not to squeeze the tick’s body or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog.

Squeezing a tick can cause it to expel blood back into the animal, thereby significantly increasing the risk of infection.

Once you’ve located the tick, gently part your dog’s fur so as to easily reach it.

Get your tick remover and slowly push it underneath the tick.

When you feel like you’ve got a firm grasp on the pest, twist in a clockwise direction several times until the tick comes loose.

Take a good look at your dog’s skin and ensure the tick has completely been expelled, with no remnants left.

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Pop the tick in a tissue and into the bin before thoroughly washing your hands.

If you’ve been unable to find the tick remover, you can opt to use tweezers instead.

But be careful as not just any tweezers will do; those with a flat end will likely break up the tick so go for fine-tipped tweezers to avoid infection.

If you’re worried about doing this yourself, the best course of action is to head to your vet for help.

How can I protect my dog from ticks?

If you live in an area prone to ticks, it’s a good idea to invest in a tick treatment that will either repel or kill them quickly if they do attach.

The longer the tick is attached to the dog the greater the risk of your dog catching a dangerous disease.

Spot on treatments, tablets and collars are available to buy, but it’s best to start by consulting your vet about which is most suitable for your pet.

Lyme disease is one of the biggest risks associated with dogs and ticks, symptoms of which include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes

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