The art of tick removal

Here’s an unpleasant task that almost every pet owner will have to do at some point: removing a tick from their beloved cat or dog (or any animal that goes outdoors and plays in trees, grass, and underbrush). I remember the first time my dog, Zoe, got a tick. My husband and I cornered her on her bed and came at her with a match and some tweezers. We had no idea what we were doing. Luckily, there is the internet, and I have now fully studied and mastered the art of tick removal. By the way, apparently, the match trick can actually cause quite a bit of harm, as it often causes the tick to regurgitate all that nasty stuff inside it, which is not a great thing since ticks can carry Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Fever, and many other illnesses.

From my studies in the art of tick removal at the prestigious Internet University, I have learned that it is best to remove the tick without trying to cause it any major discomfort. When a tick gets mad (ie: burned with the hot end of a match, smothered in petroleum jelly, etc.), it tends to release extra saliva and possibly even to vomit. Not too appealing to either me or my dogs.

So, there is no easy way to make that little sucker (no pun intended) let go of his own accord. He is on and he is not going anywhere without a fight. The most important thing is to remove the FULL tick. You do not want to leave his head or mandibles lodged in your pets flesh. And how does one go about this? There are several tools available to aid you in this crusade. We will discuss a few of them.

Tweezers. Good, old-fashioned tweezers. Everybody’s got them and they are occasionally easy to find. So grab a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick by his head, and pull up in one smooth and straight motion. Do not grasp him by the body, or you risk leaving the head/mandibles behind. Also, do not twist as you are pulling. Sounds simple enough, but to complicate matters, allow me to point out that tweezers can sometimes squeeze our little tick buddy, causing him to, you guessed it- vomit. Dang. I thought we were trying to avoid that.

Enter the Tick Twister and Ticked Off. These are two products made specifically for removing ticks.

Tick TwisterThe Original TICKED OFF

Both of these products are placed under the tick such that it can be removed without squeezing it. They also remove the tick without leaving the head or mandibles lodged inside your pet’s skin.

Watch this video about using the Tick Twister:

The tick twister comes in two sizes- one for small ticks and one for large ticks. Ticks, however, can be QUITE small, and many users have commented that it was difficult to get very small ticks caught between the tines. Thus, Ticked off can be a good option for smaller ticks.

Ticks can be very dangerous, so be sure to check your pets frequently. Be sure to check between your pet’s toes and in and on their ears. If you do find a tick, it is important to remove it immediately, using one of the safe methods described above. You may want to consider a tick prevention product, as well. Also, if your pet has lots of ticks, you might want to try a tick bath, as opposed to removing them all individually. Additionally, it is not a bad idea to keep the tick in a plastic bag so that if your dog begins showing any signs of illness, you can have the tick tested for Lyme disease or other diseases.

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One Response

  1. ew I hate ticks. my mom’s cat had lots of ticks on it when we found it (he was a country kitten) and now he has heart palpitations as a result and comes down with an infection whenever he gets a tick bite. They are bad news!

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