Wait a Tick! How to Safely Remove a Tick

It’s summer and summer means ticks. Ticks are gross, and not only are they gross, they are exceptionally gross. And just when you thought they could not possibly get any grosser, they do — sucking up blood, transmitting disease and just generally being the Michael Jordan of grossness.

So, what do you do with a tick that has attached itself to one of your beloved pets? The next stop could be you, right? And that’s (you guessed it)… gross. Ticks spread disease, they make the world grosser but they are easily preventable and, luckily, easily removed.

Here’s what you do when faced with an embedded tick:

1) Grab the tick with tweezers (near the head)

2) Pull

That’s it.

All that stuff about what happens if a tick head stays in your dog is an old wives’ tale — the worst thing that can happen is a zit. You can always pry the little tick head out with a remover, but there really is no need.

There is a handy gizmo on the market that is specifically designed to fit around the tick head and lift it out, with less of a chance of the head staying in, so if you want to send the tick off to the tick underworld with his head still attached you may want to look into one of these devices (pet specialty retailers carry the SENTRY Tick Remover). You can also achieve much the same effect if you scrape the tick out (rather than pulling) with the edge of a credit card.

If the thought of even coming near the tick sends you into fits of apoplexy, however, you have a couple of options. You can still apply PetArmor Plus IGR and the tick will die and fall off in short order or you can ask your veterinarian to remove it for you (they will almost certainly use the handy two-step grasp-and-pull method described above). Be advised though: you may get charged for this service — I worked at a hospital that had a “per tick” removal fee!

Ticks: They are gross, but they are preventable. Apply PetArmor for tick prevention today so you don’t even have to worry about the gross little suckers. But if one happens to sneak in before you have a chance to apply it, now you have the tools you need to safely remove the tick. I think using your credit card at the pet store for prevention is way better than using it to scrape off a tick!


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