What to Do When You Have a Tick Head Stuck In Dog


You’ve followed proper procedures, but sill ended up with the tick head stuck in your dog…here’s what to do next.

Sometimes, try as we might, tick removal doesn’t go as planned. The body gets crushed, you nip your dog with the tweezers, or the worst case: the tick head stuck in the dog.

If you’ve tried to remove the tick from your dog but the head’s still buried in the skin, here’s what you should know.

Tick Head Stuck in Dog Isn’t as Serious as You Think

The first thing to do when you realize your tick-extraction activities haven’t gone as smoothly as you’d hoped and the head is left behind…is not to panic. It’s not as big a deal as everyone thinks it is!

The most important thing is that you remove the tick as soon as you find it on your dog. Even if you find yourself in a scenario where you don’t have the proper tools, it’s better to do it on the spot and leave the head than it is to wait.

That’s because ticks carry pathogens and sometimes disease, and the longer they stay on your dog, the more chance there is that a disease may be transmitted to your dog through the tick’s mouth.

In some parts of the country, where Lyme Disease is prevalent, on-the-spot tick removal is even more vital. Lyme disease is transmitted from deer via the deer tick. The deer tick is maddeningly difficult to see because it’s so tiny, so you should always check your dog’s and your own skin after a walk in the woods or around any tall grass, even in your own yard.

So you see, the thing to focus on is serious disease that can be transmitted by ticks. What are you risking when you leave the tick head stuck in the dog? A superficial skin infection, most likely. But the important thing is: the tick will be dead so it can no longer transmit disease.

Now that you understand the importance of timely tick removal, it might be easier to understand why the feared “tick head stuck in dog” syndrome isn’t as serious as everyone thinks. Besides, there are actually a few things you can do.

Tick Head Stuck in Dog? Do This…

To safely remove the head and any legs left behind after a less-than-perfect tick removal process, bring out the old trusty Epsom salts. Epsom salts draw out infections and are even used for staph infections in people, where the goal is to pull toxins from the body.

Well, they work the same way with the tick head in the dog.

  1. Simply dissolve Epsom salt in water
  2. Then soak a washcloth in the solution.
  3. Apply the compress to the dog’s skin where you suspect the tick body parts have been left behind.
  4. Do this for five minutes several times per day.
  5. This will draw body parts to the surface of the skin where they will then come out.
  6. This also prevents infection.

Alternatively, you could let the head or claws be. Your dog’s natural system will push it out eventually…but not after some inflammation and tenderness. The Epsom salt method simply hastens the process so your dog is through his tick experience more quickly.

If you’d like to know how to prevent getting a tick on your dog in the first place, or at least get the truth about prevention products, check our tick prevention article.


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