How Do I Care for a Canine Tick Bite?

by Eric Mohrman
Tick risks are highest in wooded areas and during the summer.

Tick risks are highest in wooded areas and during the summer.

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Most pet parents are aware of tick dangers. These parasites transmit infections like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. Most people know to promptly remove a tick with proper procedure, but many don't think about caring for the bite afterward. While most heal fine on their own, a little precaution helps prevent ongoing irritation and secondary infections.

Bite Care

To prevent secondary infections in a tick bite, keep it clean and apply canine antibiotic ointment to the site for a few days. Rinse the area well with warm water three times daily and if it gets dirty. Follow package instructions for ointment application. Bandage the area to protect it. A bandage and topical canine anti-itch cream also help if irritation causes your dog to scratch or bite the site; this can result in self-inflicted injuries and secondary infections.

Tick Removal

Wear protective gloves and use a commercial tick remover as directed or tweezers, grabbing the tick close to your dog's skin and steadily pulling it straight out. Keep the tick in a jar of rubbing alcohol, which will kill it, for testing if your dog shows symptoms of a tick-borne infection. Clean the bite with a topical antiseptic.

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