How to Remove A Tick From A Dog’s Ear

Posted on
November 25, 2020
small brown and white dog getting tick removed with tweezers
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Photo Courtesy of My Pet Andi.

Ticks are an unfortunate pests that every pet owner needs to keep their eyes out for. This is particularly true of those who live in rural areas with forest and fields nearby. Ticks love to spend their day lounging on trees, plants, and high grass. They crawl out and spend their day about 18 to 42 inches off the ground. This is the perfect height to jump onto your dog when they are out running around and exploring. 

Since ticks spend so much of their time at dog height, it is not at all unusual for a dog to end up with a tick in their ear. If your puppy pal has recently gained themselves a parasitic passenger there are a few steps you can take right at home. Check out the article below to find out how to care for tick bites and prevent future bites in the future.

The most likely tick for your dog to get in its ear is a Dermacentor variabilis, or the American Dog Tick. Photo Courtesy of In.gov.

Small Pest Big Problem

What You Need To Know About Ticks.

Ticks are one of the most common pests that a dog owner can encounter. And allowing that the removal of a tick is fairly straightforward, ticks should be taken seriously. SInce ticks feed on the blood of animals they are carriers for bloodborne pathogens. So if your dog is bitten by a tick they can become seriously ill. If you notice your dog acting particularly irritated with a spot on their body. Or if they’ve been out in the woods or grass, it is a good idea to check them for a tick.

Since ticks bite on your dog and feed on their blood, they swell up into a hard little ball that is clamped onto the dog with its teeth. So when you check your dog for a tick you’ll be looking for a bug like that and irritated skin around where it has bitten.

While any tick bite is uncomfortable for your dog, a tick bite in their ear can be particularly painful and uncomfortable for your dog due to their ears being so sensitive. Unfortunately a dog’s ears are one of the favorite places a tick likes to latch on because the ears are at the perfect height for a tick and once they latch on they are hidden by the ear flap and the tufts of fur.

closeup of a tick
It's important to monitor your dog for ticks because they can spread different diseases and pathogens to both your pet as well as your family. 

Want To Help Your Dog Right At Home?

How to Remove the Tick From Your Dog’s Ear.

If you find a tick in your dog’s ears there are a few things you need to do. The first thing you need to do is get yourself a pair of gloves. When you remove the tick from the dog’s skin, the wound is still going to be there and the tick's mouth may drip with blood. As we mentioned earlier, ticks carry pathogens that are spread by contact with blood. For this reason you’ll want to cover your hands to ensure you don’t come into contact with any dangerous pathogens. Additionally If you have children, it is a good idea to get them away from the dog so they don’t expose themselves to any dangerous blood either.

The quicker you find and remove the tick the less likely the tick is able to pass on a pathogen to your pup. So after you have your gloves you’ll want a pet friendly antiseptic, some rubbing alcohol, some cotton swabs or q-tips, a container with a lid or a plastic bag, and a pair of tweezers or tick hooks.

First you’ll want to place some of the rubbing alcohol into the container of your choice. Once you remove the tick from the dog’s ear you’ll want to kill it quickly. By submerging the tick in the rubbing alcohol you can prevent it from biting other members of your household, as well as preserve it for inspection later.

Once you have your container ready to go, pull the hair away from the tick the best that you can and gently sanitize the area around the tick bite. Next take your tweezers or tick hooks and firmly grip the center of the tick on its sides. DON'T SQUEEZE TOO TIGHT! If you do it’s possible you puncture the tick and it’s inside will spill out onto the wound and create a greater risk for infection.

With your firm grip gently pull straight out away from the dog’s skin and avoid twisting your tool. With some light pressure the tick should pull out of your dog’s ear skin. Next you’ll want to place the tick in your plastic bag or container in order to keep it in a quarantined environment away from our pet and your family. Next quickly take your antiseptic or rubbing alcohol and disinfect  the bite.

tweezers removing tick form a dog's ear
It's important to get a firm grip on the tick with a pair of tweezers. Photo Courtesy of Pet Assure.

It’s A Good Idea To Get A Medical Opinion

Why You Should Have A Vet Examine A Tick.

Once you have your dog's ear completely tick free and sanitized, it is a good idea to give your vet a call. We can not repeat enough times that ticks can carry dangerous bloodborne pathogens. So you’ll want to take the tick into your vet so they can run some tests and see if your dog is going to need any medications or treatment to stave off a dangerous infection.

Additionally, you’ll want to know if your pet or your family are in the clear or not. You don’t want to wait around worrying that your dog or your three year old are suddenly going to develop symptoms of lyme disease. As such it is really better to be safe than sorry when it comes to ticks so a medical professional’s opinion is essential to keeping your pet and family healthy. 

two adorable puppies in a field with flowers
Keeping your pet tick free is an essential part of keeping them happy and healthy.

Although it is unfortunate any time our pets undergo any hardship, there are things you can do right at home to prevent your dog from dealing with tick bites. Always remember to wear gloves in order to prevent any bloodborne pathogens the tick may be carrying away from you and your family. Although ticks are a small insect, and a mild inconvenience to remove, they do feed on your pets blood and this makes them likely carriers of a variety of bloodborne pathogens. Be sure to keep the tick in a sterile environment until your vet can take a look at it in order to make sure you and your family haven’t been exposed to any potentially dangerous pathogens. 

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Posted on
November 25, 2020
in
Advice
category

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