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Tick head, ack!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Henry

A little rescue- with a big- heart.
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 24, '08 7:17pm PST 
I just found a big tick really embedded in Henry's shoulder - I used some tweezers and did my absolute best to pull out the whole thing but it was really in there and it came out without the head! I tried for a long time with the tweezers to get the head out but just succeeded in freaking Henry out. Any suggestions? I really don't want to just leave it in there but the tweezers are not working, so I need to try something else... help!
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Donovan'sMajesticJet of Solace

Street sweeper!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 25, '08 10:30am PST 
Did you get it? In the future to remove a live tick put a squirt of flea/tick shampoo on it. The tick will pull itself out. Also if you hold a cigarette lighter close to it it doesnt like heat and will pull itself out. Maybe you could a drop of elmers glue, wait til it drys and pull it out? Or anything sticky.
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Henry

A little rescue- with a big- heart.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 26, '08 8:03am PST 
I still haven't been able to get it. I looked around and all the info I found said it should be okay to leave it in and his body should push it out on it's own eventually, but I'm keeping a close eye on it in case it seems to be infected or anything. He's going to the vet in a few days when they reopen anyway for a vaccine, so if I haven't been able to get it out or it doesn't seem to be working itself out by then I'll have them take a look at it. And of course if it seems to be infected or he seems to be feeling sick or anything I'll take him to the e-vet. If anyone has a great way to get it out before his vet visit I'm all ears, but going at it with the tweezers seemed to hurt Henry more than anything and I definitely don't want to do that!

Thanks for the advice, Donovan! We don't get ticks often luckily, but I'll keep that in mind for next time.

Edited by author Fri Dec 26, '08 8:04am PST

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Belle

Will Take you- On!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 26, '08 8:20am PST 
I live in tick country... I've had plenty of ticks come off headless. There is an increased risk of infection, but the vast majority of the time it works out fine on it's own. Just keep an eye on it until you're sure it'll be ok.
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Baron

Amen. Bow Wow.- Says it all.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 26, '08 11:05am PST 
I have found vasaline to work on a tick as well.. The idea is that it smothers the tick and it can't get air so it backs out and is easier to get at.
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Adlai

Let's Go!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 27, '08 11:11am PST 
I am not too familiar with ticks, but we did get an infestation when we went to Ithaca, NY... I removed the ticks I could find with tweezers, and when I went home, removed the remainder with a "Tick Twister" you can find one in your pet supply store...
It makes it super easy, easy enough for the squeamish and unfamiliar with ticks.

When my dogs had many, many ticks on them, even though I think we got them all, our vet put all three on a 21-day course of amoxicillin, as a precaution, because they were deer ticks, and have all sort of yucky diseases. Good Luck!
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Cassie

Sometimes one- eye is better- than two!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 27, '08 12:21pm PST 
If the head is visible, light a mach and give it a few to really get hot. Then blow it out and while its still hot press the end against the head of the tick, just be careful not to burn the pup. I know it works on live ticks, but I'm not sure if it works just on the heads. You could also try a little bit of rubbing alcahol to help clean the area and that also helps get the head to detach sometimes. Good luck!
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Henry

A little rescue- with a big- heart.
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 27, '08 1:21pm PST 
Thanks for all the advice, guys! I should have asked here before trying to pull it out smile Now I have some good ideas if I find another one! Like I said, Henry's getting a vaccine Monday anyway, so I'm going to have the vet take a look and see what he thinks. It doesn't seem to be infected or anything so far so hopefully it'll just work itself out with no problem!
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Breena

Anything for a- meatball!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 28, '08 4:39am PST 
Oh my god, I can't believe they instruct you to twist the tick! You should NEVER EVER twist a tick. The tick's "mouth" consists of dozens of little barbs in all directions, you can't twist it out, all you're doing is damaging the skin around the bite and ensuring that the head will come off.

Here's the best picture I could find of the tick's mouth parts (the last set of photos on the page):
http://web.uconn.edu/mcbstaff/benson/BensonHome/BensonHome.h tm

ALWAYS pull the tick straight out. You can use a crowbar-shaped tool like the tick twister or what we like even better, a nylon loop tick "pen" like this one: http://www.tickremover.com/ But always pull straight out!

It's best if you get the head out all at once, but if you don't, just leave it. It will drop off by itself after a few days. There is a slight risk of an infection in the wound because of the head, but poking and burning will only cause the dog more pain and make him/her leery of having you remove ticks in the future. That's the last thing you want to do!

Edited by author Sun Dec 28, '08 4:40am PST

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♥ ZOE- ♥

What- Would Cesar- Do?
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 28, '08 8:09am PST 
try the vaseline and a cotton ball. it works for us.
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