P.S. If you don't need to get a tick off your pet today, that's wonderful. You are welcome to remain; however, please be courteous to those who are on the verge of a full-on, spider-phobic breakdown and hold to the rear of the viewing area. Also, while humor is encouraged, please refrain from laughing AT other, more nervous participants.
|I really really really really hate pulling ticks off my pets. And I really really really really hate that the grass in the field next to our yard is taller than all of them.|
|And, he's in!|
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HOW TO REMOVE A LIVE, EMBEDDED TICK FROM YOUR PET (with humor)
Before you start:
- I am not a vet; however, I do have experience with successfully removing live ticks myself (vs. watching my husband do it), during the summer of 2013*. And by success, I mean they came off still alive, in one piece, did not jump on me, or bite me in the process, and I did not sustain mental or emotional trauma. If you have health-related questions beyond the scope of this blog post, please consult your pet's veterinarian.
- Get a latex glove (or a plastic grocery/sandwich/storage bag, if you don't have a glove) to keep from having to touch the nasty bug while you're removing it. Get some tweezers or one of those tick removing tools (I don't have one, but my vet sells them), and if you plan on saving the tick for your vet, a small jar filled with alcohol and a lid. If you don't plan on saving the tick, you can still kill it in the alcohol (after you get it off your pet). If you don't want to kill the tick with alcohol, alternately, you can wrap it up in some scotch tape (ew), or my favorite, flush it down the toilet.
- Take your pet into a well-lit, small room, like the bathroom, and close the door. You need to be able to contain your pet and easily see the tick you are removing. It's also a good idea not to remove a tick over carpet (in case you drop it, which you won't). OH, and having a toilet nearby is a plus. In case you need to
throw upflush the tick (as I mentioned previously) afterward.
- Remember, removing a tick the correct way, in tact, is NOT physically painful (for the pet, probably the tick, nor you). You will not hurt your pet! (I have no idea whether ticks feel pain, but even if they do, you still have to do this.)
- Engorged ticks look (and feel) like giant skin tags or moles shaped like whole corn kernels**. Do not squeeze them! The germs (disease causing bacteria) they transmit can be forced into your pet, or, if the tick is already off your pet, all over YOU.
* 2013 was the year I (literally) drove up on baby Bobby Flay O'Fish (my ginger tabby cat, though, a nameless waif at the time) in the middle of a busy intersection. After miraculously capturing him in a Shoney's parking lot and getting him home, several days later (when he allowed me to handle him), I discovered several (3-5) engorged ticks on his tiny orange body. My husband was at work. What other option did I have but to free him of those vampires? The directions on Google worked like a charm! I did it for Bobby!
** Not responsible for future corn aversions.