Treating Tick Bites on Dogs

Ticks cause a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, so it's important to treat tick bites on dogs immediately. If you live in an area where certain tick-related illnesses are prevalent, save the tick in alcohol and take it to your veterinarian for diagnosis.

Finding Ticks

When your dog comes in from outdoors, it's important to look him over for ticks. It usually takes about 24 hours for your dog to contract a tick-borne illness, so check him over as soon as possible.

Use a flea comb to comb through thick fur looking for fleas. If your dog has a thick coat, getting him wet can help. Look between toes as well as around the ears, face, mouth, tail, genitals and armpits, where ticks like to congregate. If you notice your dog chewing on a particular place, check it as ticks will often irritate your dogs and cause them to bite the area where the tick is located.

If you find a tick, remove it immediately. Ticks don't drown so dispose of it by throwing it in the toilet or placing it in alcohol. Don't crush a tick because that could spread disease.

Removing Ticks

There are several tricks for removing ticks, but many of them, such as Vaseline, alcohol or hot matches, don't work. To remove a tick, simple is best: use tweezers and pull the tick firmly upward until you have pulled him from your pet's skin. Don't twist or pull too quickly as you might leave the head behind, which can cause disease or skin infection.

If you don't have tweezers, put liquid soap on a cotton ball and use it to cover the tick for 15 seconds, which should cause the tick to release when you remove the cotton ball.

If you suspect you have removed the tick's body without its head, use a sterile needle to remove the head like you would remove a splinter. Use antiseptic to cleanse the area with the bite. Wash your hands and the potentially infected area.

Treatment of Tick Bites

If your dog has an allergic reaction to tick bites, your veterinarian may prescribe a topical cream or antibiotic to treat any other symptoms that may appear. Benadryl can also reduce symptoms such as inflammation and itchiness around the bite. If the symptoms persist for several days, contact your veterinarian for medication.

Herbs vidang and haridra have also been used to treat tick bites as vidang provides relief to skin and ear infections and haridra is known to provide relief to the entire body.

Prevention of Tick Bites

As always, prevention is the best treatment. There are many pills and spot-on preventatives that repel ticks. If you live in an area with lots of ticks or like to take your dogs hiking in wooded areas, tick preventatives will save you a lot of time and headache.

Tick-borne illnesses can lead to serious symptoms such as fever, lameness, listlessness, loss of appetite or coordination, and difficulty breathing, chewing or swallowing. To keep your dog from contracting these illnesses, immediately find, remove and treat tick bites.