Not the most pleasant of creatures to deal with. It's important to know how to remove a tick from your pet though, as leaving part of the tick in your pet's skin can cause infection.
If you need to remove ticks from pets, there are a few tips that you need to know in order to do the job correctly. The first thing to remember is that you should never just pull a tick out using tweezers or another tool, if you do this, you can actually leave half of the tick inside the animal, or burst the tick causing them discomfort and possible septicaemia. Many people also recommend the use of a lighter or hot match to kill off the tick, so that it falls out naturally, again, this is not recommended as you risk burning your pet or their fur.
So, how can you quickly and safely remove ticks from pets? First you will need to understand what a tick actually is before you start the process. A tick is a form of parasitic spider that is generally found in long grass or heather. They attach themselves to any living thing, including pets, and in particular outdoor cats and dogs when you are taking them on a walk (in fact, the majority of dog and cat owners will experience ticks in their pets at one point or another. Ticks burrow into the skin of your pet and feed on their blood, with the legs hidden and only the body remaining visible. To identify a tick, look out for a small brownish skin-coloured nodule or wart-like bump on your pet’s skin.
The biggest problem that you will face when trying to remove a tick from a pet is that the exertion of too much pressure can actually burst the tick and this can force poison into the animal’s bloodstream, causing septicaemia, also known as "blood poisoning". If you try to use tweezers, you won’t have any indication as to whether or not you are squeezing the tick too hard or not.
So, here is the advisable way to remove ticks from pets; wearing surgical-type disposable rubber gloves you will need to grip the tick very lightly and as close to the pets skin as possible and then pinch and twist the tick in an anti-clockwise direction while also pulling outwards very gently.
You won’t usually get the tick out on the first attempt, so you may need to repeat the above process again, applying a little more pressure. Be patient and don’t rush the process, the trick is to pinch the tick as close to the pets skin as possible and then use the twisting motion to release the ticks' grip while avoiding releasing toxins into the wound already created.
When you have released the tick, dispose of it carefully, either in a toilet (with bleach) or in a bin – if you simply drop it, the likelihood is that it will re-attach itself to either your pet, or another one! You will then need to clean the wound on the pet using an antiseptic cream that is suitable for pets. The wound should clear up within around 12 hours if it is left alone to heal.