While cuddling your dog or giving them scratches, have you ever noticed that some brown, curled up, and stiff insect is sticking to your dog’s fur? If you have, then it is a dead tick, indicating that your dog may be suffering from tick infestation.
Of course, as a dog owner, you want a clean dog for yourself, for which you need to pull the dead tick out of your pet.
Sometimes these ticks might be causing trouble for your dog; at other times, no one would even come to know of their existence until the situation gets worse.
It is always advisable to keep a check on ticks. The best thing to do is to ensure that their fur remains clean. By cleaning, one doesn’t mean surficial clean. It is advisable to deep clean their fur, but that topic is for another day. For now, let us focus on how you can remove dried dead ticks on dogs.
What Are Ticks, and How Are They Harmful?
Ticks are extremely small animals and have eight legs. Their oval bodies swell up when they drink blood, and indeed, they can feed on the blood of any bird, animal, or even human.
Owing to their small size, they are rather difficult to spot, and that’s why they are difficult to spot in animals such as pet dogs, who often have long furs.
When ticks suck blood from their host’s body, they pass through various micro-organisms and parasites. They are responsible for a host of diseases like tick fever and Lyme disease, and most of the illness that happens due to ticks have common symptoms like fever, headache, and chills.
Can Dead Ticks Latch on to Your Dog?
You might be surprised that an alive tick may still fall off your dog’s coat, but a dead one will probably latch on to your dog’s body. It happens as ticks have extremely sharp teeth, and they can easily puncture your dog’s skin and attach themselves to the skin.
Even when ticks are dead, their teeth continue to latch firmly to the skin, and despite their bodies drying up or shrinking in size, their teeth hold on to their weight.
It has also been noticed that while the rest of a dead tick’s body may have fallen off, their heads are still found buried deep inside the dog’s skin.
Also Read: 18 Common Health Problems in Large Breed Dogs
What Happens If You Don’t Remove A Tick Properly?
If you have a dog, you must be aware that it can be infested by ticks. Ticks are pathogens which can affect your pets. A tick will utilize its mandibles to cling to your flesh and stay there until it has been extracted, which can be challenging just because of how firmly they hold your body.
Although tick bites are primarily benign, these animals can transmit infections and ailments, including Lyme disease. Ticks possess a horrible appearance and can trigger a cutaneous response that results in a tiny blister, particularly if not thoroughly cleaned.
It can also cause anemia. Yet, we are more concerned about the ailments which ticks spread.
In this section, let’s look at the possible issues your dog may face if a tick is not removed properly.
The most common and dangerous of all infections spread by ticks to dogs is Lyme disease (borreliosis). The tick’s bite wound, which surrounds the damaged wound, frequently left A red dot lesion or spherical red abrasion.
The situation is significantly apparent in dogs, which can exhibit a broad range of symptoms, such as achy muscles. Therefore, when your dog is not feeling well enough and you notice insects on it, take it to the vet.
The bacterial illness Ehrlichiosis in dogs results in flu, hemorrhaging, loss of weight, and lethargic behavior.
Dogs contract the illness from ticks. However, this illness can occur anywhere; tropical areas are where it occurs most frequently. It may take months to cure the illness due to its potential to be acute.
The bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes anaplasmosis, can infect people, dogs, and agricultural livestock. The dogs feel feverish, dull, puking, and breathless in such conditions.
What Will You Require to Remove Dead Ticks From Your Dog?
Removing ticks from your dog can be a tricky business, taking a lot of your time and energy. In addition to some of the important required set of skills, you will also require a couple of tools and equipment which will enable you to pull out the dead ticks from your dog’s fur without making them feel any pain or make them uncomfortable.
So, what all would you require if you wish your dog to be tick-free? To begin with, to ensure your safety, you will need some gloves. You will also require antiseptic cream, disinfectants, and rubbing alcohol. You will have to apply the rubbing alcohol to your dog.
But, most importantly, you will need tweezers and tick removers to pull out and remove the ticks from your dog’s body.
Although not absolutely necessary, you may also require a magnifying glass to look at the dead ticks, some container to put the dead and dried ticks in, and your dog’s favorite treat to divert its attention while you pull out the dead ticks from them.
How Can You Remove Dead Ticks from Your Dog?
To begin with, make your dog sit motionlessly and separate their hair. Due to their color and size, ticks can be tricky and confused with warts, cysts, and skin tumors, and needless to say that you do not wish to pull them.
Hence, it is important to confirm that it is a tick. However, even after pulling it out, if you are confused, you can contact your veterinarian to be sure of it.
1. Using a Tweezer to Remove the Dead Tick
This is the most accessible and the most common method of removing ticks from a dog’s body. If you are using a tweezer to remove the tick, try to get the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible.
Be gentle, and don’t pinch your dog at any cost. Make sure you’re not squeezing the tick too hard since squeezing may crush it and make its removal even more difficult.
While using the tweezer, begin slowly and steadily removing the tick from your dog’s skin. Pull the tick out, and ensure that no jerking happens, as you don’t want the head of the tick to separate from its body.
2. Use a Tick Removal Hook
Although tweezers can get the work done for you and may make you a proud owner of a tick-free dog, please remember that tweezers are not specifically designed to remove ticks. Their mechanism includes wide and quite straight ends, making it utterly difficult to hold on to the slippery head of the dead tick.
The solution to this problem is a tick removal hook for your dog. This hook is specifically designed for your dog, and you don’t have to apply any pressure on the hook to get hold of the dead tick. Instead, just press your dog’s skin gently and allow the hook to get below the dead tick. And once it gets beneath the tick, pull it a little, and the dead tick will be removed.
3. Use a Tick Key
The biggest advantage of using a tick key on your dog is that it is quite blunt but very efficient. A tick key is quite simple to use, and owing to its bluntness, it saves your dog’s skin from any kind of rupture or abrasion.
Instead of pulling a dead tick out of the body, this tool rather drags it out.
But there are a few disadvantages of a tick key as well. To begin with, the size of the tool and its design make it difficult to use it on certain body parts of your pet, like the tail. Besides, the size of the tick key makes it quite ineffective against smaller ticks, as the key can easily pass over small dead ticks without dragging them out of your dog’s fur.
4. Use a Tick Scoop
This tool is similar to that of a tick key, and just like a key, even this tool is efficient on big ticks and may fail in removing small dead ones. However, using this scoop is rather easy. It has a V-shaped notch in the front, which is used to pull the ticks out of the dog.
You need to identify and isolate the tick and scoop it out with the V-cut in the scoop. But a tick scoop is made out of plastic, making it difficult to sterilize, which is one of its drawbacks.
5. Using a Tick Twister
This tick removing tool is also made of plastic and closely resembles a small garden how. To remove the tick, you will have to isolate it and twist the tool to pull it out.
One of the advantages of using a twister is that generally, this comes in two different sizes, which enables even the small ticks to be removed.
Despite its efficiency, please remember that if you have a dog with long or curly fur, this tick twister may not be as efficient. After all, it requires one to twist to pull out the tick, and while doing so, the twister may get entangled with the long fur of your dog, which can make this experience a painful one for your dog.
What to Do After Removing a Dead Tick?
Pulling or dragging a dead tick is not the end of the whole process. Many steps can be followed to ensure a long and healthy life for your furry friend. Let’s have a quick look at them.
1. Clean the Infected Area
After removing the tick from your dog’s skin, have a good look at the area and clean the area, as it will remove most of the harmful microorganisms that may affect your dog’s health in the future.
To clean the area, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide can be used, and thorough cleaning of the tick-infested area is recommended.
Instead of directly applying rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, you can wipe the area with a cotton pad. However, the skin of your dog may still appear to be red and swollen, for which you need to further apply some antiseptic ointments in that area to provide relief to your dog.
2. Place the Dead Tick in a Safe Pot with a Lid
Even if the tick you have just removed is dead, you would like to get rid of it. In case you are concerned that the tick you have removed might be carrying some deadly pathogen that may have affected your dog, you can wrap the dead tick in a damp towel, place it in a pot, and put the lid on it.
Similarly, you can also use a Ziploc bag to keep it safe. But, whatever way you choose, it is still advised that you should not simply throw the dead ticks down the drains of your kitchen or your toilet.
Is It Normal For A Dog To Have A Bump After Removing A Tick?
You must have heard about tick-infested dogs. But what are ticks? Ticks are minuscule blood-eating arachnids. They may pass the infection and trigger severe allergies. Therefore, ticks on dogs should always be eradicated as soon as they are found.
Forceps may be used to remove ticks, but if you live in a region where tick invasions are common, buy specialized clamps to remove ticks faster.
When you try to remove the tick, its head remains attached to your dog’s body. Sometimes, the remaining tick heads cause more problems than the tick itself. So, you will require to remove the tick head also.
The bump in the dog’s body is normal as it forms due to the tick’s bite. However, the lump is known as a granuloma. The granuloma is formed due to the presence of sputum of the tick and generally stays there for some weeks.
It’s typical for a dog’s inflammation to an initial injury to swell up. As a result, a pinkish or crimson circle around the extraction site and a scar are typical. If the scar remains longer, that is, more than 2-3 weeks, get it checked by a vet.
Moreover, if your dog develops a bump the following day after a tick is removed and it keeps expanding, your dog could be infected. Apply antibacterial ointment like Polysporin to the affected area.
But this can cause serious digestive issues, and you must ensure that your dog doesn’t lick the cream.
Is it normal to see a scab after a tick bite on dogs?
The ticks generally emerge during summer due to their hot and humid nature. To avoid illnesses and inflammations, you’ll need to be watchful to spot those little parasites immediately as they attach to your dog.
A tick leaves the dog’s body surface only after finishing its feast on its host’s blood and may cause a sore where it was attacked.
Furthermore, forcefully removing the tick from your dog’s skin may leave a scar. Therefore, it is crucial to confirm whether the scar is a scab or a tick burrowing its mouth in the dog’s skin.
What is a scab?
In simple words, scabs are your dog’s reaction to a wound, bite, or scratch. The clotted blood forms an uneven patch at the damaged site called a scab.
It is sometimes enticing to pull and scrape your scabs, particularly when they start to sting. However, such behaviors could result in additional trauma and hinder your healing.
In addition, if your dog scraps the scabs, there is a risk of contracting further inflammation, which hurts and swells.
Can ticks cause scabs?
The formation of a bit of scab at the point of injury represents one of the most typical indicators that a tick is attacking your dog.
This is typical behavior for just about any injury that is recovering. However, it’s not like all tick attacks result in a scab. Since a tick puncture resembles a scar in many ways, it might eventually scab up.
A tick typically pierces the epidermis using its oral parts before filling up on serum, leaving a tiny puncture wound. A scab may develop in the area as it recovers.
Scabs will develop there as liquid clots. Your dog will be compelled to lick the wound repeatedly since the puncture constantly causes it to feel itchy. Scraping the skin could result in blood and further skin problems.
Once your dog develops scabs, you must proceed cautiously and have your dog undergo additional testing.
Should You Take Your Dog To The Vet After Removing A Tick?
Parasites are a serious risk, particularly for dogs who enjoy being outside. Ticks are little bugs that can infect your dog with ailments transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme disease.
Effective tick eradication is crucial, despite how extremely unpleasant (and frightening) it may be. How? By doing this, you can be confident that your dog won’t contract any infections transmitted by ticks or get inflammation from a tick stuck in his body.
Use a bug brush to remove the fur on your dog surrounding the bite. Next, grab the tick as near the body as possible using forceps or an insect extraction instrument. Draw the tick out steadily while applying forceful, vertical tension.
Is Visiting A Vet Necessary?
As a dog owner, you would want to know more about the kind of infection that your dog is suffering from. Right?
However, what is even more important is to know about the causal organism so that you can be careful of future problems. To identify the same, you need to visit a vet, who may prescribe precautionary medication.
What Are The Signs Of Tick-Borne Disease?
The indications of tick-borne illnesses are hard to miss out on. Yet, the first symptom may take a few days to a few months to become noticeable. So, early detection and management of infection become crucial in fighting against tick-related issues.
In this section, let’s have a look at the typical signs of infections transmitted by ticks.
- Shivering Or Fever: Fever is one of the most common symptoms of any tick-borne disease. The dog’s body temperature starts fluctuating at this stage, and the dogs often feel chilled.
- Lethargy And Muscle Pain: Feeling exhausted is very common in the case of tick bites. The dogs can also feel a throbbing ache in the muscles. The magnitude of seriousness generally varies from breed to breed, depending on their innate capability of bearing the pain.
- Rashes: The rashes are complementary to these diseases. The rashes are of several types and can be uncomfortable for your dog.
- Borreliosis Or Lyme Disease: In Borreliosis, the rashes can be seen before the dog starts to feel feverish. The rash begins at the point of contact and is regarded as the first indication. It generally remains for 3-30 days in the dog’s body. These are usually round in shape and are also known as Erythema migrans.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Not every dog with Rocky Mountain spotted fever has rashes. The rash typically starts as tiny, flattened, pinkish, non-itchy blisters on the wrists, forearms, and ankles and progresses to the torso 2–5 days following the emergence of fever.
- Canine Bartonellosis: Even though canine bartonellosis is not that frequent in dogs compared to certain tick-borne illnesses, it nonetheless exhibits some significant symptoms.
Recurrent temperature and stiffness are the initial symptoms of canine bartonellosis; if neglected, this ailment can progress to more serious problems like heart or liver damage.
To conclude, predators like ticks can infect our pets, spreading several ailments. Apart from consuming an animal’s blood to stay alive, ticks may also carry dangerous microorganisms, which can also make your dog ill.
The majority of these tick-related ailments show side effects such as nausea, joint discomfort, tiredness, fever, feeling like puking, and irregular blood flow. So, if you find these symptoms persisting for some time, take your furry pooch to a vet.
Dead ticks are not as hazardous as alive ones but can still cause skin irritations.
They won’t proactively spread harmful microorganisms to your dog. They should always be cleaned off your dog’s coat very away because they continue to have the potential to irritate or contaminate the epidermis.
To remove a dried tick from a dog, clean the bite site, and use a fine-point forcep. Grasp the tick close to the flesh and try not to the tear the tick, as its head can stay buried inside your dog’s coat, which can cause further problems.
When they die, they typically fall away or are simple to eliminate. Only when the male insect has finished feasting does it leave its victim and expire. Immediately after coupling, the female insect typically detaches to deliver its eggs.
If a tick’s head is left in a dog, it may increase its chances of contracting other diseases. In addition, the place where its tick’s head resided can also develop a firm lump in your dog’s skin.
Yes, a tick head will eventually come out. While at times, it comes out on its own, at other times, you may have to take it to a vet, or use a tweezer to pull it out.
Yes, female ticks do lay eggs on dogs. However, the dogs’ remaining eggs tend to germinate on their fur only. Then, the larva turns into an adult tick.
Following living for two years, female ticks normally produce their eggs in the spring. In reality, they are gaining the strength required to breed and propagate by feeding throughout their lives.
Tick eggs are generally large in number and remain clumped together. Therefore, these can be identified easily. Moreover, the eggs are transparent and seem brownish-red in color, and they may look like caviar in a clutch.
Your dog may have been affected by ticks which may affect your dog’s health. As a concerned dog parent, you need to get rid of the ticks from your dog. This blog explains how to remove the dead ticks from your pet’s skin, how to take care of your dog after taking the dead ticks out, and how to dispose of the dead ticks properly.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.