Alright, your dog got a tick... that sucks!
But the good thing is that you're here.
Step 1: Remove the tick.
Let's not wait any longer... first, take your Tick Buster.
1.1 Move the hair aside. Place wide part of the notch in front of the tick.
1.2 Slide the tool forward until the tick is at the bottom of the notch.
1.3 Continue firm forward-upward motion until tick detaches.
1.4 Put the tick in a sealed bag. Wash hands and clean bite area.
Apply alcohol to disinfect wound and tool.
You can check this youtube video for more visual instructions.
Fiouf! Now that the tick is removed, you can breathe again. Take a minute to calm down...
You good? Alright, let's keep going.
Step 2: Identify the tick.
This is crucial in order to know what symptoms to look for in your dog's behavior.
Go back to the sealed bag in which the tick is, carefully look at it.
Go to this page and identify the tick.
Once identified, write down the potential diseases transmitted by such tick.
Step 3: Determine the risks
Alright ticks are sh*t.
But there's one good thing about them, well I wouldn't say good...
But it takes 24hrs for a tick to transmit any disease it might carry.
So now you have to carefully trace back your steps.
When was the last outing with your dog?
Is it possible your dog got that tick in the backyard?
Try to determine when did it happen.
This will give you an idea as if your dog's at risk or not.
Step 4: Monitor symptoms
Now that you know what are the potential diseases that this tick might have transmitted to your dog, you should learn what are the symptoms of each disease.
Go read about the diseases potentially transmitted by ticks.
Over the next weeks, you need to look out for symptoms.
So we made you a PDF that you can print or save in your phone. This guide sums up the symptoms of each disease.
A quick look at it will tell you if you need to worry.
People are asking
Q: While removing the tick, some part of the head might have stayed under the skin. Is it bad? Should I be concerned?
A: This is something that concerns many people but it is just not possible for ticks to 1) continue living once they have been ripped in two; and 2) for them to embed any more than their mouthpart into your skin.
Eventually this will be pushed out much like a splinter would be. You probably want to keep an eye on the bite area just in case the tick had transmitted a disease-causing pathogen while it was intact and feeding on your dog.
Q: What is the correct way to kill a tick once it has been removed?
A: You can simply put it in a sealed ziplock bag. This way, you'll be able to safely look at it and try to identify it. Once the tick is secure, it won't be too long before it dies anyway (from extreme dryness). Personally I would keep the ziplock bag around. If there are no symptoms or other consequence that develop, say within 2-3 months of the bite, you could just discard the tick card or baggie in the trash.
You can always send it to be tested if you are concerned about transmission/potential infection.
Q: Sending a tick for testing, what is that? Should I do it?
- In this process, you take a picture of your tick and submit it to tick spotters.
- Tick Spotters (volunteers who were trained) will identify the tick for you.
- Depending on the results, you can send your tick to be tested in lab and find out if it carried any disease.
- You will be asked to place an order ($50).
- You will be given an address where to send a package with the sealed bag (and the tick in it).
- Finally, you'll receive the test results.
You can start this process here.
Q: I want to have my tick tested, but when I removed it, it ripped into two pieces. Does it matter?
For tick testing it doesn't matter so much how many pieces the tick is in as long as there is enough of the internal gemish remaining (guts, glands, etc) that would be harboring the germs if the tick was infected.
Q: Do ticks drop on you from trees?
No! Ticks don't fly, hop, run, or even move all that quickly. Depending on the life stage and species, they quest for hosts anywhere from ground level to about knee-high on vegetation, and then tend to crawl up to find a place to bite.