A Tick's Head Is Stuck in My Dog

by Tom Ryan
Your vet may need to treat the bite site.

Your vet may need to treat the bite site.

Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When a tick bites your dog, the tick stays in place and feasts away. This can make removal simple, because the tick isn't crawling around. On the other hand, his head is buried beneath the surface of the skin. Sometimes, tick removal can decapitate a tick, removing the body but leaving the head buried in the skin. If this happens to your dog, you may need to pay the veterinarian a visit.

What to Do

Once a tick has been decapitated, he's dead. The head that has been left behind in your dog's skin won't inject more toxins into your pet. There may be some redness and swelling, which you can treat by washing the site with gentle soap and warm water. Report what happened and your dog's condition to the veterinarian, who will instruct you to monitor the bite site for worsening rash. This can indicate an infection caused by the festering tick head. You may need to take your dog to the veterinarian to have the head removed and the site treated -- your vet will decide.

Photo Credits

  • Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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