How to remove a tick
Since ticks can carry a number of diseases, including Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, you should remove them from your pet as soon as you find them. During tick season, it's a good idea to inspect your pet for ticks after each trip outdoors.
To remove an attached tick, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removing tool. Avoid grabbing the tick's body. Instead, grab the tick right where the mouthparts enter the skin. Avoid using your fingers to grab the tick, as you are more likely to squeeze the body of the tick when doing so, which can cause harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your pet's bloodstream.
Without any jerking or twisting, pull the tick with firm, steady pressure directly outward. It may take a few minutes, but with continued pressure, the tick will dislodge.
Methods such as applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol will not cause the tick to back out. In fact, these irritants may cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva into the wound.
After removing the tick, kill it by placing it in a jar of alcohol, freezing it or burning it. It's important not to handle or squeeze the tick, since the contents of the tick can transmit diseases that affect humans, too.
Clean your pet's bite wound with an antiseptic. You can also apply a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection at the site. Wash your hands thoroughly after disposing of ticks and cleansing the bite wound.
It is common for pets to develop a rash or welt at the site of the bite, due to a reaction to tick saliva. A hydrocortisone spray may help alleviate the irritation, but healing can take a week or more. Continue to keep the area clean and dry. In some cases, the tick bite may scar your pet, leaving a small hairless area.
Prevention is crucial to keep ticks from biting in the first place. We recommend monthly flea and tick topical preventives for any pets that reside in areas with ticks.