(Toledo, OH) After returning from a lengthy walk at Wildwood Metropark, my wife noticed that one of our dogs had a tick embedded in its skin. Given the fact that we use Frontline flea and tick products, this was a first for us; despite all of the tromping around I have done in the woods, I have yet to be bitten by a tick myself.
Thus, in the spirit of shared knowledge, I am presenting for your consideration an effective method of tick removal that served me well in lo, this one opportunity to remove a tick from a dog.
1. Sterilize a pair of tweezers.
2. Get a person to help you hold down the afflicted pooch.
3. Grasp the tick with the tweezers in the fattest part of its ectoparasitical body.
4. Slowly but firmly pull back until it is removed.
5. Encase the tick in a piece of tissue and flush it down the toilet, as ticks have exoskeletons and are surprisingly resistant to being crushed. In addition, crushing the tick with your fingers can spread infectious disease, especially the dreaded Lyme disease.
6. If any pieces of the tick remain in the skin, just pull out any that protrude. Do not try to dig out any remnants of the tick that remain deep in the dog's skin.
7. Use a topical antibiotic spray, such as Bactine, on the affected area.
8. Pet the brave little pooch, and provide a nutritious treat for being so well-behaved during the tick removal process.
I have read that the old method of using a heat source, such as a match head, is not advised for tick removal. The heat can force the tick to burrow deeper, and you also run the risk of accidentally burning your pet.
I believe that the above process would work well with children, cats, and wombats, should you ever need to remove a tick from one of these. You might need an extra person to subdue a wombat, though, as I hear they do not have the most pleasant of dispositions. I am not sure, however, if this procedure would work equally well at removing one's spouse from a dedicated bout of furniture shopping. I suspect that a tick can exert much less force than can a deal-obsessed shopper.