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How to Remove a Tick

There is a lot of controversy over how to remove a tick safely from your pet and yourselves. Do you twist? Use Vasoline? Matches?

Tick on dog

The answer is NO to all of these suggestions.

Steps to Remove a Tick:

Here is the proper technique, according to Alberta Health:

1. Using tweezers, gently grasp its head and mouth parts as close to your skin as possible.

2. Without squeezing the tick, slowly pull the tick straight up off the skin – do not jerk or twist it.

3. Do not apply matches, cigarettes or petroleum jelly to the tick.

4. Once the tick has been removed, clean the bite area with soap and water and disinfect the area with an antiseptic. Wash hands with soap and water.

5. Save the tick in a clean, empty container. Do not add any ventilation holes to the container that is being used to put the tick(s) in. You can put more than one tick in the container if they are found on the same person or in the same general area in the environment.

6. Add a small piece of tissue or cotton ball, lightly moistened with water, into the container to prevent the tick(s) from drying out.

7. Submit the tick for testing as soon as possible.

A program was implemented in 2007 called the “submit-a-tick” Program. This program urges Albertans to keep the ticks they remove from their pets, and themselves, and submit them to Alberta Health Services Environmental Health office. This program is a great way to find out which diseases are prevalent in which area.

Results from previous study years have found that about 2% of the ticks received through the “submit-a-tick” program in Alberta carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.

Here is a link with more information regarding the submit-a-tick to the program:

Search all over your pet for ticks

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