Sunday, April 22, 2012

How To Remove A Dog Tick

Well, hello everyone! I admit it's been a while. A really long while. But I've been busy the last few weeks of school and once summer vacation started about three weeks ago, I didn't really have much time to spend online, since I wanted to make the most out of it. But here I am now! Woot woot!

Now I don't really have much news except for the fact that I found out yesterday that a few ticks have infested my dog somehow. I found this fact out while I was happily brushing my dog's fur and finding a grape somehow stuck on him. Needless to say, I was a bit puzzled and leaned in for a closer look. To my horror, the grape had legs, and it was not actually a grape.  

Pictured: not a grape, but a tick. A rather fat one at that and full of blood and shizz. ICK!

Therefore, now being blessed with first-hand experience, I now present to you a simple step-by-step guide on what one should do if one finds a tick on their dog:

Step 1: Determine if it really is a tick.
Ticks are usually grey, brownish or greenish in color. They sometimes look like grapes if they've been feeding for a day or two. Also, they have legs. That's the important part, lest you try to remove dog warts or nipples (?) or an actual grape that somehow got superglued on your dog. Well, okay, you might want to remove that grape, too. Your dog is not a fruit bowl, after all.

Step 2: Gather materials you'll need for tick annihilation! removal.
Once you've determined that what you're dealing with really is a tick, resist the urge to recoil in horror and jump up and down while flapping your hands screaming "ew ew ew!" like I did. Instead, take a deep breath and proceed to collect the materials you'll need to remove it safely. You will need:
- strong willpower
- pointy tweezers
- gloves
- container filled with alcohol

Step 3: Push aside some of the dog fur to expose the tick
Put on your gloves and part your dog's fur around the area where the tick is. Do this gently and make sure your dog doesn't move. Once the tick is exposed, grab your tweezers and pinch them together in the air a few times, in case the tick gets scared of your bad-assery and seriousness and just drops off on its own. If not, proceed to step four.

Step 4: Grab the tick near its head (where it is attached to the skin)
Do not grab the tick by it's body! Because it could only squeeze some of it's sucked up blood back into your dog and that is gross and risks infection. Also, there is a high chance that it will burst, sending specks of blood and its body juice flying into the air, all over your dog and onto your face, possibly in slow motion, for extra effect. But that is just vomit-worthy. So yeah, grab it by the head and not the body!

Step 5: Pull the tick firmly up and out.
Once you've gripped the tick firmly and properly, pull gently upwards. They're really clamped in there tight, so  make sure your fingers don't jelly-fy, and let go (This will lead to you having to do this over and over again so make sure you do it right the first or second time). Your dog's skin may rise up as you pull the tick out, and this is normal, so you may wish to hold the area around the tick down as you pull. The tick will eventually let go and your dog may feel a slight tearing sensation, but this is normal and doesn't hurt your doggie.

Step 5: Place the tick in your container filled with alcohol.
This will kill the tick swiftly. Resist the urge to fling the tick clear across the room in disgust like I almost did. This is because the tick may still technically be alive and will probably just reattach to your dog like an annoying ex that won't leave you alone. If the tick you've extracted is still moving, with its legs all wriggly, you managed to get the whole thing out, head and all. If it just lays limp and doesn't move, some of its mouthparts may still be burrowed in your dog. But do not fret, the remaining mouthparts will not burrow any deeper or grow a new body or something freaky like that. Your dog's body will simply try to handle it in its own way and the tick head will eventually just drop off along with dead skin and shizz over a period of time. Be sure to keep the area clean, though and if there is any sign of infection, it's best to let the vet handle it.

Step 6: Disinfect the area with soap and warm water.
This will ensure that the area heals faster and there won't be any infections. It is normal for your dog's skin to raise a bit and be reddish in color where the tick was attached and some of the hair around it may even fall out. Don't worry though, since things will get better over time, and the area will heal itself.

So there you have it, folks! Six simple steps to remove a tick on your dog! If you think the whole thing was a little tl;dr, then here's a quick video:

I guess I've been fairly successful in my encounter with this particular arachnid, unlike the last time I had to come face to face with another of its kind. Hope this would be of help to someone. Also, I missed you guys! I will most probably start visiting your blogs again tomorrow and will start following some new blogs, so expect comments and follows from me! Yaaaay!

Tick tock,