Pulling a tick off a pet isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. But it’s essential for protecting your pet from illnesses such as Lyme disease.
In the WebMD Pet Health Community, M. Duffy Jones, DVM, shares the basics of at-home tick removal. First, you'll need:
- rubbing alcohol
- tweezers or something else to pull the tick off with (to be thrown away after use)
- a jar with a lid
- someone to help you hold your pet still
As your helper restrains your furry friend, apply alcohol around the tick-ridden area to sanitize it, and to wet the fur, making it easier to visualize. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible with the tweezers, and apply gentle pressure while pulling straight back. Don’t jerk or crush the tick, as you can release more bacteria that way.
Drop the tick in a jar filled with alcohol until you're sure it’s dead. Clean the bitten area on your pet with alcohol, and monitor him for the next few days for any signs of illness.
One pet owner shared that she folds a piece of tape over the tick rather than using a jar of alcohol. Jones cautions that ticks are resilient and that pet owners need to make sure ticks are really dead before throwing them away.
Another Pet Health Community member suggests killing the tick by applying bleach first. But Jones notes that bleach can irritate your pet's skin.
Remember, for those who are too squeamish to remove a tick yourself, you can always call your vet to do it.