This article is going to teach you what to do when you find a tick head stuck in your dog. Do not worry the dog will be ok, I have done this many times, and my dog is alive and kicking.
How to remove a tick from a dog
Tweezers can be used if the tick is too small to grasp. Lever the tick head out by placing an opened pair of scissors or tweezers around the mouthparts and jerking the tick away from the skin. Try not to squeeze the tick before removing it, as this releases more toxins.
If they are sufficiently large, they can be grasped between the thumb and finger, and with steady traction applied for several seconds, the tick will release its hold and come out without leaving the head in the dog.
The search for the tick should never stop after one is found since several may be present and be causing the symptoms. If your dog shows any of the symptoms of paralysis described, seek the help of your veterinary surgeon.
And what happens if a tick head stays embedded? Even if the head did not come out with the tick, it would not hurt to leave it there.
How do I know if my dog has ticks?
At first, the affected dog displays no ill effects. It usually takes at least 4 days for the first symptoms to appear. If there are a number of ticks attached, and if the dog is small, ill effects may appear sooner.
In cold weather or where the site of attachment of a single tick is an area not richly supplied with blood, symptoms may not be observed for 7 to 10 days.
The first signs are a weakness of the back legs and a reluctance to jump or go upstairs. The dog may move with a wobbling gait and may fall over if he tries to move quickly. Soon he prefers to lie down and is unable to stand if called.
The toxin from the tick causes an ascending paralysis of the spinal cord. As the effects of the toxin move further up the cord, the muscles of respiration become affected and breathing labored. Left untreated, breathing becomes more and more distressed and the dog finally dies.
How to treat tick paralysis in dogs
It is better, as a general rule, not to give pets drenches designed to provide food or fluids to treat the condition, as there is frequently present a partial paralysis of the throat which makes swallowing very difficult.
There is a likelihood that some of these materials would go down the wrong way and cause a fatal pneumonia, by keeping the animal comfortable without distressing it, is a most important aid to recovery.
Fortunately, there is a specific antitoxin against the effects of the tick. If treatment is sought before the respiration is too badly affected, tick paralysis can be reversed. The antitoxin must be administered intravenously and insufficient doses.
The weight of the dog and the number of ticks attached to it determine how many antitoxins will be required. As the animal is unable to eat and drink due to the paralyzing effect of the toxin on the muscles of swallowing, intravenous feeding is necessary while the dog is recovering. Tranquilizers are administered to calm the dog, as it is usually in a very distressed state by the time treatment is sought.
Tick serum is produced in special laboratories from the blood of animals that have become immune by gradually increasing the period to which they have been exposed to numbers of attached immature ticks. The serum is very costly to produce so a course of treatment involving large doses of antiserum and hospitalization is very expensive.
What is the safest tick prevention for dogs?
Insecticide washes, such as flea and tick shampoo, are effective for up to a week but of course, are of no value if the dog swims. Flea powders and sprays cannot be applied effectively all over the body, and they also wash off.
Probably the most effective all-around prevention measure is the use of Advantix. These contain effective ingredients. The topical formula is distributed evenly throughout the dog’s skin and is sufficient to kill the immature tick before it has a chance to produce any ill effects.
For advice on the prevention of tick paralysis for your particular pet, it is wise to consult your veterinarian.
Can a dog survive a paralysis tick without treatment?
The good news is that most dogs recover from a tick bite without needing treatment if the tick is removed quickly enough. However, some dogs will develop neurological signs after being bitten by a paralysis tick. If this happens to your dog, he will need urgent veterinary attention and possibly hospitalization if his symptoms worsen or fail to improve with treatment.