Found a tick - now what?

I grew up in a city and never had to deal with a tick, but I recently got a dog and tonight I found this on her ear. The torso is about 3mm (1/8") in length. I stupidly tried to remove it with my bare hands before I found a tool that would do the job. I did wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. Questions:
[li]Comparing it with photos on the web I think it’s an American Dog Tick - am I right?[/li][li]Did I remove it intact? (It’s very much alive and running around in the ziploc bag)[/li][li]Under these circumstances, do I or the dog need to worry about possible infections?[/li][li]Should the dog be using some type of medication/chemicals to prevent ticks, or is this a “just check regularly and remove any you find” type of deal?[/li][/ul]

I don’t know what type of tick it was. Our dog gets occassional ticks, we remove any we find by hand (unless they’re between his pads, then we sometimes have to use tweasers.) We also give him Frontline once every two weeks. It is a tick/flea killer and comes in small vials that get squeezed onto his back between his shoulder blades. We are in a very tick prone area and he gets very few.

I’m constantly coming the fur on my new dog and I sometimes find ticks crawling on him; still on the fur, not embedded in the skin.

If you cant tweeze them out or use a special tick removal tool, try smearing some petroleum grease on it: this will suffocate the little bugger.

Prob’ly. Who cares? Kill it! Kill it now!

Looks like it.

Kill it! Kill it now!

From just pullling a tick off you dog? I wouldn’t give infection a second thought. However, for the dog (or whoever had the tick in 'em) treat it like any other breach of the skin- hydrogen peroxide and triple antibiotic oinment and keep an eye on it. Most likely, it’ll be just like any other little pin prick.
As far a the nasy diseases from ticks, as I understand it, the trick is getting the tick off quickly. I think it’s generally a couple of hours to get Lyme disease. I don’t know how that plays out (if at all) in dogs.
But, in short, I wouldn’t worry about the tick wound unless it shows signs of infection- redness, swelling, etc.

Frontline. Unless you have so few ticks where you are that you can get away with manual maintenance. Even then, I’d still use Frontline or at least a flea and tick collar.

Kill the tick! Kill it now! Kill 'em all!

The first encounter with a tick on my dog, happened the night before a scheduled Vet visit. The damn thing was the size of an ‘M&M’ fer crisake. It was so engorged with blood that the legs couldn’t be seen. When I showed it to the Vet, he laughed and said ‘it’s just a tick, watch me, so you can remove the next one by yourself’.He proceeded to grasp it at skin level with a pair of tweezers. It came off easily enough, and he dropped it in a cup of rubbing alcohol, stating that that was the only sure fire way of killing them. He snapped a lid on the cup and tossed it in the trash. If you just put it in the trash, or throw it outside, it will continue to enrich itself on the blood it drew, and live to attach itself to the next victim. I now keep tweezers, alcohol and throw away paper cups ready for the next time.

  1. The dog tick is a lot larger than the deer tick. The deer tick is the kind that carries Lyme Disease. If your tick is not engorged, the dog tick will be, oh, maybe the size of a children’s asprin tablet (but flat). A similarly not-engorged deer tick is the size of the head of a pin. If you have a dog tick, don’t worry about Lyme Disease.

  2. If you don’t know what kind of tick it is (and if they’re engorged, it’s extremely difficult to tell), you can take it to your vet or to a local university’s entomology department, and they’ll identify it for you. If you have a little glass jar, you can fill it with isopropyl alcohol and pop the tick in; it’ll die and be nicely preserved for inspection.

  3. If the tick is running around, it’s intact. If you pulled off its head, it would have twitched a bit and died. If it gives you any satisfaction, it’s probably very unhappy right now.
    For more information on how to deal with this sort of thing when it happens, see the very good Straight Dope Staff Advisory article on the subject, here:

–Glassy, daughter of an entomologist

Unless you count the Shaolin Hammer Technique (for the fat ones), the Iron Fingernail Technique in which ticks are severed into two or more pieces, and the Stick of Brimstone Flame Technique (which stinks!! DO NOT USE ON ENGORGED TICKS AS THEY CAN EXPLODE) in which the tick is exposed to a lit match.

Do not put alcohol on an attached tick when that tick is attached to your private parts. That is all.

FWIW I just went to a State mandated training on ticks and at the training they said that it takes approximately 24 to 48 hours of attatchment to get Lyme’s Disease. They also said that your should never try to remove a tick by hand as this could possibly result in squeezing guts contents back into to your body and since the guts is where the Lyme’s is, this can increase chances of infection.

I have a handy dandy little divice for removing ticks that I bought at the local drug store. It is basically a spoon with a notch cut in it. You just scoop the tick off (slowly to insure you don’t leave the head behind) and you are good to go.

Here’s more than you’ll ever want to know about tick removal. Pix of tools, also.

You can also start a Tick Zoo! If you seal up ticks in a airtight glass jar they will eventually become dormant (Use the smallest jar you can). You will think they are dead, but when you find another tick to add to the zoo they come back to life. Unfortunately, ticks in a glass jar will not fight to the death so you’ll eventually get bored when you get about five ticks in your collection. Then it’s time to start thinning them out.

I second the use of the Stick of Brimstone Flame Technique, with a simple modification. I don’t remember the details of how the tick got away, but one day he did escape a flaming death. The next tick, however, didn’t have a chance. I dipped the head of a match in rubber cement and glued the tick to the match head. I then held the tick encrusted match over the open flame of a second match until it ignited. Sure, it doubles the cost of matches and you need glue, but can you put a price on the perfect tick execution?
(Ok, it’s 3 cents and worth every penny)

This thread cracks me up. Imagine someone from another part of the world telling you that they (or their dog) just got a mosquito bite, for the first time ever, and since mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, they are worried.

It’s just a tick, fer cryin’ out loud. Sure, there’s a slight possibility of something bad, but untold hundreds of thousands of people get bitten by them every day.

My wife was in her late 30s when she suffered her first tick bite, and she was grossed out. I found this amazing, that she went all that time without something that I always thought of as not much more remarkable than a mosquito bite.

I remember when I went to a nation-wide event that happened to be in the Ozarks, my backyard back home, and someone recoginzed the need to give instruction/warnings about chiggers.

It just never occurred to me that folks didn’t know about chiggers.

Certain ticks can cause tick paralysis - that’s what happened to our old dog a few years ago. It was terrifying. He was misdiagnosed because of his age and at one point they discussed putting him down. Awful!

If you’re concerned, take the tick and your dog to the vet. They can tell you what kind of tick it was and if you need to be worried.

What is Tick Paralysis?

  Tick Paralysis is caused by over 40 species of ticks worldwide (5 in North America, including the deer tick) and can occur in almost any region where ticks are found. It has killed thousands of animals, mainly cows and sheep, in other parts of the world. Although tick paralysis is of concern in domestic animals and livestock in the United States as well, human cases are rare and usually occur in children under the age of 10.

  Tick paralysis occurs when an engorged and gravid (egg-laden) female tick produces a neurotoxin in its salivary glands and transmits it to its host during feeding. Experiments have indicated that the greatest amount of toxin is produced between the fifth and seventh day of attachment (often initiating or increasing the severity of symptoms), although the timing may vary depending on the species of tick.

Well, that answers part of my question. Reading information on web pages and books, it’s really difficult to gauge how big a deal it is.

Anyway thanks for all the response. The tick I removed was not engorged and almost 4mm in size so I’m pretty sure it’s a Dog Tick and nothing to worry about. I’ll get Frontline next time I’m at the vet.