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First tick ever- a little worried that I didn't fully remove it

Discussion in 'General Health' started by MeoMeu, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. MeoMeu

    MeoMeu Forums Regular

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I was petting Fletch and noticed a little bump on his shoulder. Unfortunately, it was exactly what I feared it would be. When I parted the fur there was a brown bug about half the size of my pinky fingernail (I have very short nails, keep in mind). It wasn't a light creamy color like some of the pictures I've seen online, so I'm hoping that means that it wasn't attached for very long?

    I've read that it's best not to harass the tick too much because you risk it throwing back up into the dog, so I just asked Fletch to lay down and sterilized some tweezers, putting them as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up. It was definitely in there good because it took me three tries to get it out (partly due to Fletch trying to thrash around when I started to pull). When I did get it out I threw it into a little box and tossed it into a plastic bag (can you tell bugs make me squeamish?) just in case Fletcher got an infection and I'd have to take him to the vet. I figured it might be good to take the tick with me just to identify what type it is, although it looked too big to be a deer tick. However, it still looks like there's a little left in his skin. It's just a small black dot. Since this happened at midnight, I cleaned the area with rubbing alcohol for a few minutes and decided to see what it looked like in the morning.

    Looking at it now, there's no puffiness or inflammation, just a small pinprick of red where the bite was and a smaller dot of black inside it, which I'm figuring is the part of the tick that got left behind. I cleaned the area with rubbing alcohol again, just in case. Am I in the clear? I've been researching it online and some sites say that it's fine if a little gets left behind, it'll just scab over and fall out on it's own, while other's say that if the head is left then there's a chance of infection and the vet needs to be contacted. If it's any help, he's on Revolution. From what I understand, it only protects against the dog tick and can take up to five days to kill it. It seems like I should look into getting something extra for ticks. I've been taking him on walks in foresty areas more lately, which is probably where he picked it up. I've seen recommendations for the Seresto collar and the Preventic collar, as well as home remedies such as apple cider vinegar mixed with water or a few drops of lemon grass, geranium, and lavender (also diluted with water).

    I'm just thankful that I've managed have Fletcher for over two years and never come into contact with a tick before. I can't imagine having to deal with several a week!
     
  2. EJHUNTL

    EJHUNTL Forums Enthusiast

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    Aug 11, 2013
    Ontario, Grand Bend
    Hi, I have pulled dozens of ticks off of Hanna. Go have a look at that bugger in its bag, even fully engorged you can see the legs wiggling and you'll know you got it all. If it's attached there's no panic as it's not going anywhere fast - the others are tiny and you need to get them as soon as you see them before they hide in the fur, or worse drop off in your house. I see that you're in Ontario, we're just south of Grand Bend bordering on the Pinery Provincial Park and this spring right up until June was awful for ticks. Hardly seeing any now.

    All of the ones I took to the health authority for testing came back negative for Lyme - most were deer ticks but there were some dog ticks in there as well. We use Revolution too but I also chose to give Hanna the Lyme vaccine and I'm going to keep doing that.

    As for removing them tweezers work just fine. I have a set that I keep just for the dog and I'm afraid I don't sterilize them every time. Also my sister in law just recently gave me this tick key from Lee Valley Tools and it works like a charm, much better than the twisty plastic things you are supposed to hook under & twist.
     

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  3. Watson's Mom

    Watson's Mom Premium Member

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Western New York
    I've seen that tick removing tool but I don't have one. I have only found one on Watson so far, and all I had were tweezers, so that was what we used. If you have to tweeze, make sure not to squeeze the body.

    I too am squirmy about certain creepy crawlies... ticks being one. I dropped ours into a small container of alcohol to kill it. Then I didn't worry about it escaping from the garbage or crawling up the toilet drains to get me.... You might be able to get a better look at the thing to see if it looks like the head is still attached when it's dead... no need to worry about escape or it touching you and if you have one, you could use a magnifying glass to get a good close look at it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  4. EJHUNTL

    EJHUNTL Forums Enthusiast

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    I'm not squeamish about bugs except wasps and spiders, so no worries about putting them in a baggie to take in for testing.
     

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  5. Watson's Mom

    Watson's Mom Premium Member

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    :ick Ticks, ants, and caterpillars are what my nightmares are made of. I had to get that bad boy out of Watson ASAP!
     
  6. melbell

    melbell Forums Enthusiast

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    Feb 4, 2013
    Erie, Pennyslvania
    We had to remove a tick off of Ruutu when he was 8 weeks old (March 2013) but it didn't bite him, just freshly crawling so I can't help with that part. I do have a tick remover tool now, but didn't then and used tweezers. We have Tick Twister, but never had to use it luckily. I have used Preventic collars on Ruutu since the incident and never seen another tick on him. I also use Scalibor collar (flea and tick for 6 months) on Honey. She has never seen a tick since we moved her down here (Dec 2012) so I assume her collar works because she never had one and Ruutu did.
     
  7. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

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    Central California
    I have never had to deal with ticks, thankfully. I had one dog come with about 50 well embedded. I used a groomer who was a vet tech and she spent 3 hours going over the whole dog inch by inch and did a brilliant job.

    Once, though, husband went fishing at a lake on the CA coastline and he and the whole group came back with ticks. Each person had to retreat to their respect RV and have a full body search for ticks. Only one had one embedded though all had crawlers. Bleh! Husband was not allowed near the dogs until he was tick-free.
     
  8. Sullivan

    Sullivan Forums Enthusiast

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    May 29, 2013
    Florida
    I had a vet once suggest for tick removal to use a match. Strike it, blow it out and while the tip is still hot, touch it to the head of the tick, will make them let go in a flash.
     
  9. EJHUNTL

    EJHUNTL Forums Enthusiast

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    Aug 11, 2013
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  10. MeoMeu

    MeoMeu Forums Regular

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Ahh yes, the Tick Key! Ordering it asap, it seems preferable to tweezers.

    I ended up asking my dog trainer who advised to just stop going on any walks through the forest, especially where there's shrubbery and tall grass, because ticks have been a real problem this season. There still isn't any sign of infection or inflammation so I don't think a vet visit is in order, but I'll keep watching the area and cleaning it daily nonetheless. Crossing my fingers that it heals well! Should I expect a scab to form within the next few days?

    Before going to obedience classes with Fletch I sprayed him with some diluted apple cider vinegar solution and am looking into getting a tick collar. There wouldn't be any complications with using a collar such as Preventic while he's also on Revolution, would there?
     

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