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.
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.
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.