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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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I just pulled a tick off my dog, but I think the head is still

Resolved Question:

I just pulled a tick off my dog, but I think the head is still in the skin. I treated the area with peroxide. What next?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

Was the tick dead or alive before removing it?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think it was dead. Very gray and there seemed to be black stuff coming from where I think the head should have been.
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the reply.

Sometimes if ticks are dead the mouthparts and head can be very brittle and very easy to leave behind. The good news is that typically if the tick was already dead, Ozzie's body has already put up a very good defense to make sure that the head does not get embedded. With this the tick head usually does not get surrounded by the swollen skin as an alive tick can.

At this time the best way to treat this is to use a very bright light to visualize the area much easier and look for black pieces of the mouthpart. A pair of tweezers and a warm washcloth can significantly help. I would hold the warm washcloth on the skin for about 4-5 minutes or you can even pour warm water over the area consistently for about 4-5 minutes. This will soften the area up to allow you to remove any remaining pieces with the tweezers. The longer you soak the area the easier the tick head will be easier to get out.

If you do not see any more black discharge or pieces then he should be just fine. If you continue to see black discolored pieces in the middle of the wound then you may have to run Ozzie in to your vets office to have one of the technician look at the area very quickly for you just to double check your work.

Hope this helps - please reply if you have any other questions.
Dr. Matt and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.
Did you have any other questions that I can help you with? I want to make sure that your question is answered completely. If I have provided a helpful answer please do not hesitate to click on the accept, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time. Thank you so much in advance!