How to get a tick out of a dog

February 8, 2023
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How to get a tick out of a dog

How to get a tick out of a dog

How to get a tick out of a dog

Ixodid ticks carry pathogens of viral protozoal, bacterial infections. Quick removal of a sucking bloodsucker minimizes the risk of infection. In the article, we will figure out how to pull out a tick from a dog at home on our own.

Briefly about the important

Ixodid ticks are "containers" of pathogens that cause dangerous diseases in dogs. The most common are piroplasmosis (babesiosis), borreliosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis. Infectious agents concentrate in the salivary glands of the parasite and are transmitted to the dog with saliva. However, the infection does not begin immediately after attachment, the owner has time to secure the pet.

ixodid tick on skin

At the initial stage, the tick introduces a cementing secret to fix it on the skin, analgesic enzymes to reduce the sensitivity of the animal. This stage lasts from 24 to 36 hours. The risk of transmission of pathogens during this period is minimal.

Then the feeding phase begins, when the attached ixod works like a debugged pump. In 1 minute, he makes up to 60 suctions. At the same time, he strictly alternates them with the injection of excess fluid, together with saliva, back into the dog's blood. At this stage, the risk of infection rises sharply and continues to increase in proportion to the suction time.

If you have time to remove the tick at the initial stage during the first day, you can save the dog from serious diseases.

General rules

Proboscis of an ixodid tick under a microscope

Mouth apparatus of a tick with a proboscis in the center.

When removing a bloodsucker, you must follow a number of rules so as not to harm the dog:

  1. Remove smoothly, without jerking. The body of the tick consists of 2 sections: gnatosomes (head with mouthparts) and idiosomes (torso). With a sharp movement, the body is easily torn off, the head remains in the skin.
  2. Do not pull up, but twist. The proboscis of the parasite is covered with parallel rows of teeth directed backwards. When trying to pull out the parasite, they pierce the skin, while rotating, they are pressed against the proboscis and do not interfere with the exit.
  3. You can twist in any direction, but do not change the direction. There is no thread on the proboscis, so it is not necessary to act strictly clockwise or vice versa.
  4. Don't put pressure on your body. The salivary glands, where pathogens are stored, lie on the sides in front of the body. Squeezing provokes an additional release of saliva into the dog's bloodstream.

The infected tick outwardly is no different from a “healthy” parasite. Any sucked ixod is a potential danger.

How to pull a tick in a dog at home on your own

To extract ixodes, they use improvised items, specialized tools-examiners, chemicals.

Tick twister twist

Convenient "extract" looks like a mini nail and at the same time a double hook.

How to remove a tick from a dog with a tick twister

It’s easy to use TIK TIC:

  1. Crown the tick crocheted into the slot between the teeth.
  2. We raise a little, at the same time we make 2 – 3 rotations.

Tick Twizer captures the bloodsucker exactly at the base of the proboscis, does not squeeze the body, takes out entirely without tearing the head. The kit usually includes 2 or 3 twisters for small, medium, large ixodes.


To extract a tick, you need a tweezers with thin tips. Wide flat captures squeeze the body, which leads to injecting an additional portion of saliva into the blood of the dog.

How to remove a tick with tweezers

  1. We spread the wool.
  2. We start the ends of the tweezers under the body of the Ixode.
  3. We grab at the point between the skin of the dog and the body of the parasite.
  4. We scroll in any direction, while slightly pulling up.

For animals, steel forceps 2 in one are produced. From one edge, this is a thin tweezer, from the other – a spatula with a slot for capture and twist.

Tweezers 2 in 1 for tick removal

Pinzet extractor

The usual tweezers have disadvantages: sometimes it is difficult to grab the head, you can not calculate the compression force and break the parasite. Therefore, for the convenience of owners, extractors working as a tweezers invented.

Pen-tweezers for removing ticks

Outwardly, they look different: a plastic handle with a button and extended grips at the end or a metal spring with a rubberized handle. But the principle of operation is the same:

  1. Press the button to open the tweezers.
  2. We place the captures above the bloodsucker as close to the skin of the animal.
  3. We release the button and fix the tick at the bases of the head.
  4. Turn in one direction 2 – 3 times.

Such extractors are easier to use than tweezers.

It is safe to remove the tick with a thin durable thread. The tooth thread is well suited, but you can take any piece of a strong thread.

How to pull out a tick with a thread

The procedure is as follows:

  1. We make a loop in size slightly larger than a digging parasite.
  2. We throw on the tick closer to the skin of the dog.
  3. We tie the knot around the proboscis is not very strong.
  4. We pull the ends of the thread to the sides.
  5. Smoothly, without jerks, scroll at the tips.
  6. The tick is separated by alive and unscathed after 3 to 5 revolutions.

This method has a lot of advantages. Thread can be found in any home. Does not squeeze the body, which excludes the reverse flow of blood and saliva. Pulls out arthropods entirely, without tearing apart.

In the video, the owner shows how to remove a tick from a dog with a thread in seconds.

Lasso extractor

When extracting an arthropod with a thread, skill is needed to properly throw, fasten, scroll. It is easier to use a ready-made extractor with a thread. It looks like a pen with an eyelet and a button.

How to remove a tick with a lasso pen

The extraction order is as follows:

  1. Press the button and pull out the loop.
  2. We throw a lasso between the skin and the tick.
  3. Slowly release the button, pressing the tip against the skin.
  4. We turn the handle perpendicular to the skin.
  5. We turn until the ixod is unhooked.

With such an extractor, even tiny parasites can be removed, which are difficult to pick up with an ordinary thread.


Drops and sprays are used not only to protect the dog from the attack of ectoparasites. They will help out when you need to get rid of an already attached ixod.

The bloodsucker is sprayed from a spray bottle or a drop of the drug is applied. After 20 – 30 minutes, he dies and detaches.

Insectoacaricides disrupt the functioning of the nervous system, cause paralysis and death. But they have disadvantages. First, you have to wait for the poison to work. Secondly, the parasite does not always detach itself, and it needs to be pulled out.


American scientists from the Ivok company from Zelenograd have come up with a new method for the safe destruction and extraction of ticks – instant freezing.

The company produces a set of Istik. The main component is a can of refrigerant and an applicator. Additional – a crowbar for removing large and small parasites, alcohol wipes for treating the bite site, vials for storing the parasite before taking it for research.

How to get a tick out of a dog the dog and

How to get a tick out of a dog

The procedure takes less than a minute:

  1. Cover the tick with an applicator.
  2. We click on the bottle. For a small parasite, one spray is enough, for a large parasite, two.
  3. We capture the dead parasite with a slot in the crowbar.
  4. We scroll until it falls off.

The extracted tick can be placed in a test tube and taken to the laboratory. Filling the cylinder is enough for 40 – 45 sprays and the destruction of 25 parasites.

The main advantage of freezing is that the tick dies instantly, salivation stops instantly, and the transmission of pathogens stops.

How not to pull

There are controversial and even dangerous methods of extraction.

  • Pull out with your hands. It is difficult to grab the tick at the head with your fingers. Above the risk of squeezing the body, break the parasite, leave the proboscis. It’s your hands to remove, if the parasite is fresh, I have not yet had time to gain a foothold. In this case, the fingers need to be wrapped with a piece of fabric or put on gloves.
  • Survage in vegetable or machine oil, smear with petroleum jelly, manicure varnish. The purpose of the manipulations is to close the breath, stop air access and force to peel off. There are really cases when the tick falls off, but it is rather a coincidence. The parasite either had not yet managed to gain a firmly, or was already saturated and was ready to fall off himself. The tick can do without oxygen up to 24 hours. Wait until he disappears is to lose time. In addition, in an excited state, salivation is enhanced.
  • Water gasoline, alcohol, kerosene. The listed liquids will cause more harm to the dog than the parasite. Even the poison does not kill Ixod instantly, to say about kerosene and other liquids. But the dog can get a chemical burn.
  • Cauterize with a hot needle, cigarette, iodine. The IKSOD will not die immediately, and the release of saliva in a state of stress intensifies. In addition, any cauterization is dangerous for the dog.

Sometimes it is possible to stretch the bloodsucker with a thin syringe with a cut end. But this method does not always work.

What to do if the tick head remains in the skin

Fragments of the parasite stuck in the skin do not strongly affect the well-being of the dog. The most “terrible” complication is the development of local inflammatory reaction, as on any foreign subject in tissues.

An irritation occurs on the skin as from a splinter:

  • Small seal;
  • Redness;
  • Sometimes a slight discharge of pus with pressure.

To prevent microflora infection from the skin of the dog around the place of bite, they cut the wool and wiped with a tampon with a chlorhexidine solution of 0. 05%twice a day. Parts of the parasite come out themselves. Skin tissues pour them out like any outsider. Sometimes a tiny seal remains, but it passes spontaneously over time.

It is extremely rare around the wound that extensive edema develops, swelling increases to the size of the walnut, a lot of pus is distinguished. In this case, the dog needs veterinary assistance.

On the Internet they write horror stories about the mortal danger of tick remains stuck in the skin. They describe a certain poison that poisons the dog for more than a day. They advise you to urgently pick out the remains with a needle, cauterize, fill.

All these actions will harm the dog. A stuck proboscis does not affect the likelihood of developing piroplasmosis and other diseases. There are no salivary glands in the head, so the flow of saliva into the bloodstream of the animal stops.

Read on the topic: Tablets from ticks for dogs Simparika, Bravecto, Neksgard Spectra.

What to do next

After extracting the arthropod, an antiseptic and soap are enough, nothing else is needed.

The bite site is wiped with a swab dipped in a solution of chlorhexidine or miramistin. Before antiseptic treatment, you can additionally wash the wound with soapy water.

The extracted bloodsucker is not thrown into the bin or out the window, it must be destroyed:

  • Flush down the toilet;
  • Burn, holding with tweezers over the fire;
  • Throw in a container with alcohol.

And you can put a jar and give it to the laboratory to detect infections. But even if the test is positive, the dog will not necessarily get sick. The risk of infection depends on the immunity of the animal, the time of attachment.

After a bite, veterinarians recommend postponing routine vaccinations for a week, and not giving strong medications. Postpone trips to remote places where there is no veterinary clinic and observe the well-being of the pet. Apathy, lethargy, refusal to eat and walk, temperature jump up to 40℃, shortness of breath – all this is a reason to donate blood for analysis, contact a veterinarian.

Ixods attack in the forest, on the field, in the summer cottage and even in the city. Therefore, the owner needs to examine the dog after walking and keep an extractor tool, tweezers, or at least a piece of strong thread on hand in order to quickly remove the tick from the dog.

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Shanna Derrick About Author

Author of dog food articles with a deep understanding of healthy dog nutrition.

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