Ticks are pretty horrible things, and there is always much discussion about how to best remove the tick. Common questions include:
- Should I pull or twist?
- Do I try to kill it first?
- Does it matter if I leave the head?
In the UK, ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease to both humans and animals, and should never be left attached to the skin for more than 24 hours. When abroad, there are also other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.
There are top-spot treatments which are available to help prevent attachment. Frontline is one of these top-spot treatments. There are also prescription only products available. Please speak to us about which treatment is best for your dog.
We would recommend that you check your dogs for ticks every day if roaming in tick prone areas such as Richmond Park or the countryside. Ticks are usually found on the front half of the body, but can be found anywhere including more intimate areas. Both cats and dogs can be affected by ticks.
Once found, a tick should be removed immediately. The best method of removing ticks is to use a tick hook such as the O’Tom hook. The hook should be placed under the offending tick, then twisted until the tick detaches. There is no need to pull with this method. It should ensure also that you do not leave the head embedded. You do not need to try to kill the tick first, and this is not recommended.
If the head is accidentally left in the skin, then it is possible for this area to become infected. Some of these animals will require antibiotics. Please call us if you are concerned.