How to Remove a Tick

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There doesn’t seem to be any written rule about exactly how to remove ticks. Some people use tweezers, some use their fingers and others use a tick remover device (which can be bought from pet shops, off the internet or from some veterinarians). There are differing views on how you should detach ticks, but the risks and dangers are consistent amongst everyone. The remover device comes in two sizes allowing you to withdraw both small and large ticks safely. This is the method which doesn’t seem to have any negative feedback on websites or forums (that we can find!). Just remember to keep any you remove as it may later be needed should you or your pets become ill.

There are reasons why so much care and attention should be taken when you look to detach ticks. Basically, if you lazily scratch or pick at a tick in your skin, or the body of your pet, you can risk further infection by leaving part of the parasite remaining in the skin. As ticks have hooks which attach themselves to their host while they feed (on blood), they are difficult to pull out as a whole. You need to understand how they attach themselves to a host and what steps need to be taken to withdraw the whole parasite in one go.

When ticks crawl or fall on to their host, they find a warm and moist area to feed. They pierce the skin and embed themselves using two hooks in a clockwise motion. The head goes into the skin and the body remains visible to the eye. The size of the body differs, but grows larger when full of blood. It is easy to burst the body and cause saliva back flow if too much pressure is exerted on the tick so you have to be gentle but methodical when you go to withdraw it. The tick will need to be turned anti-clockwise and then prized out. Once taken out of the skin, the parasite should be disposed of (killed) so that it doesn’t fall or crawl onto another host. A jar of alcohol could be kept aside to drop it into. If ticks do carry an infection or disease then it may be worth keeping them for further analysis by a veterinarian or doctor. This could be beneficial if any ill effects are experienced as a result of the bite.

remove a tick carefully

How do I Remove A Tick

Ticks can carry infections and diseases such as Lyme disease, Q fever, Babeosis, Ehrlichiosis, Meningoencephalitis, Anaplasmosis, as well as cause jaundice in dogs. Not all ticks carry these though, so do not be alarmed unless you see symptoms developing. Symptoms could be aches in the joints, difficulty in breathing, headaches, rashes, severe swelling around the bites, weakness and fever. If you believe that these symptoms have been caused by ticks then you should consult a doctor immediately.

When you detach ticks, you therefore need to remember to not squeeze their body with too much pressure in case it bursts, do not attempt to burn them off with the use of a lighter or cigarette, do not try to pull them out with your fingers and do not leave any part remaining in the skin. Kill any tick you detach by drowning it in alcohol or alternatively crushing it. These should be adhered to if you are to withdraw ticks on humans or on pets. If they do not detach themselves the first time of trying, try again using slightly more pressure! Always clean the area with an antiseptic soap afterwards.

How to Remove a Tick

  • What's recommended? If the parasite is embedded in your skin, seek professional advice and have the doctor or vet help. There is no point risking breaking the tick if you have the option
  • If you are unable to go to the Doctor, hospital or vet then detach a tic with great caution and care - ensure the whole thing is removed in one go using a twisting motion
  • If you think the tick could be infected then retain it in a sealed container for checking over by a doctor or vet - otherwise, ensure its killed and disposed of so it cannot cause any further issues
 
 

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