Ticks are a horrible form of parasite that effect humans and pets, and that latch onto our skin and drink our blood. They’re foul to look at, they can itch, and they can spread disease making them generally a pest and something that no one wants to have to deal with quickly. Likewise though they can also cause more complications if they are removed incorrectly and should the legs be left behind when they are pulled out. This then leaves the individual – or the dog – susceptible to infection and can also lead to a range of other symptoms such as rash or even difficulty breathing.
Removing Tick Heads
As such it is very important to remove the tick while also removing the head and the best way to do this is with a specialised tool for removing ticks which will enable you to lift and pull out the tick without touching it. These look like white plastic ‘forks’ in a way with two tongs that slide under the tick allowing you to quickly pull and leverage the tick out of the skin and to bring the head and the legs with it. You can get these in most pet stores and they will work on people too.
Alternatively you can use tweezers which might be more convenient if you want to get the tick head out in a hurry. To use these grab the head or the mouth of the tick with the tweezers but hold gently so as to avoid crushing the head and leaving you with nothing left to grab on to to remove the tick. Pull gently and directly up as you would with the tick remover and try to maintain a constant force rather than jerking it out.
Once you’ve removed the tick you’re not out of the woods just yet. Take the tick and place it in a jar and seal it – this is important as if you should have caught an infection from the tick, this can help the doctor to be able to diagnose any symptoms that occur more quickly.
As well you should make sure to wash the area of your skin that was bitten by the tick and to disinfect it. Use a warm water and soap and wash your hands too if you touched the tick with them. From here on look out for any potential signs of problems such as rash, fever, muscle ache or swelling.
Of course best of all is to avoid getting bitten by ticks in the first place. To do this avoid long grassy areas and if you do walk through them then wear long trousers to prevent the ticks from latching on. Also be careful when removing ticks from your pets and remember that they can be transferred from dogs to humans if they exist on the carpet in between.