Retained tick head - what to do?

(28 Posts)
Pringle89 Tue 04-Jun-19 19:09:06

My pup has had three ticks in the last two weeks despite trying to keep clear of long grass.

I removed two and they were intact, one of the areas has a raised white lump - doesn’t look red or infected, is this normal? Also he managed to scratch one off his nose but left the head in the skin - was already dead I think..again almost looks like a crater with a little black dot in the middle. Do I leave and let nature take its course and expel the head or do I need a visit to the vet?

Also just found out his flea treatment doesn’t kill ticks so will be changing this - any other recommended treatments/repellents?

OP’s posts: |
userxx Tue 04-Jun-19 23:39:06

I'd take him to the vet so it can be removed. I thought infection could kick in if the head is still inside.

BiteyShark Wed 05-Jun-19 07:21:00

You can get tick collars like the seresto one which lasts up to 8 months.

However, I use nexgard spectra which is a monthly tablet which kills fleas, ticks and certain worms. The tick still has to bite the dog but is killed usually within 24 hours and then you can easily pull it out without much effort.

OverFedStanley Wed 05-Jun-19 08:22:35

I would not take to the vet for a retained tick head unless it looks infected. Generally the body will repel it over a few days. So keep an eye on it but I would not rush to the vet.

Pringle89 Wed 05-Jun-19 17:15:16

BiteyShark Thanks will ask the vet what options they offer when I go Saturday as I need to get a working tablet.

OverFedStanley Yes that’s what I thought but wanted to make sure that was the right thing to do - the vets don’t seem to offer much advice over the phone and always say go in but if I can save myself the cost just to be told to leave it I will!

OP’s posts: |
Poochnewbie Wed 05-Jun-19 18:47:52

This happened to us. We did take pooch to the vet who just applied some anaesthetic and got it out. It took about 10 minutes and they didn’t charge us. They recommended a tick removing tool that cost about £2.
Since then we bought bravecto which stops ticks from attaching and we haven’t had another one since (and we are surrounded by woodland and fields of long grass).

nellyitsme Wed 05-Jun-19 22:04:58

You need this for any further ticks


SpringIsSprung1 Wed 05-Jun-19 22:11:28

Apply Vaseline. It suffocates the tick and they drop off next day. Works every time!wink

userxx Wed 05-Jun-19 22:44:11

Does the Vaseline trick work with just the head though? I mean it's dead anyway so can't suffocate and drop off.

OverFedStanley Thu 06-Jun-19 10:02:54

Bravecto and nexguard do not stop ticks attaching - it kills attached ticks

Seresto will usually kill the ticks before they attach to the dog

Do not put vaseline or anything else on the tick to repel it - it can cause the tick to spread diseases more easily.

Remove ticks with tic remover as said above

Poochnewbie Thu 06-Jun-19 13:47:22

Yes, sorry - got the two mixed up. Have used both.

Pringle89 Fri 07-Jun-19 16:29:22

Thanks for advice, ended up taking to vet and needs sedation to remove and antibiotics as was starting to look red, it’s on his nose so not impressed with the vet trying to remove. Had to leave him there and pick him up later 😔.

Apparently if it hasn't worked it’s way out within 48 hours generally it won’t come out!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 07-Jun-19 16:34:10

Aww poor thing sad.

BiteyDog gets lots of them around his eyes which is why we treat to kill them as there is no way we can use a tick remover where they are located.

Pringle89 Fri 07-Jun-19 18:24:16

Yes we will get the tablet that does fleas and ticks (thought his flea treatment did that!) but can’t treat until two weeks as only treated him for fleas two weeks ago. Hopefully won’t get any more until then! He’s no happy bless him and very drowsy!

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Fri 07-Jun-19 18:40:47

That does look sore , what’s the mark above his eye ?

BiteyShark Fri 07-Jun-19 18:40:56

Ouch that looks sore sad

Pringle89 Fri 07-Jun-19 18:44:30

There was other one that had bitten him there but we got it all out but as there was a lump they just wanted to check whilst he was sedated it was all out! They said it was really hard to get out!

OP’s posts: |
userxx Fri 07-Jun-19 21:37:42

Awwwww bless him, that looks so sore. Glad it's all sorted now, I'm always of the opinion a trip to the vets is the best thing. Bloody horrible things those ticks.

TooTrueToBeGood Fri 07-Jun-19 21:48:00

Apply Vaseline. It suffocates the tick and they drop off next day.

Don't do this. It may well cause the tick to detach but it also causes the tick to vomit, significantly increasing the chances of it passing on lyme disease to the host.

SpringIsSprung1 Sun 09-Jun-19 00:44:03

Always worked with my pets. They are treated regularly with Frontline for fleas etc as well although it doesn't always prevent them. We have a stray cat that came for his food one evening with 4 ticks round his face. Vaseline applied, all gone following day. Recommended on many pet websites as well.

BiteyShark Sun 09-Jun-19 06:35:05

Spring just because it's recommended on websites doesn't mean it's the best thing to do. I would be avoiding those websites if they think applying Vaseline on ticks is a good idea given that the main reason that ticks should be killed correctly or removed intact in the correct way with tick tools is that it reduces the risk of lymes being spread.

If you apply Vaseline you run the risk of the tick vomiting it's contents inside the dog which if that tick is infected with Lymes disease spreads it. The fact that the tick then falls off is immaterial as it's not the tick body that spreads it but the contents inside it which you have now unknowingly left inside.

Lymes disease is very prevalent in certain parts of the uk. We have already had one member of our family tested as we live in one of those areas and ticks are a problem for humans as well as dogs with lymes disease being a unpleasant chronic condition.

SpringIsSprung1 Sun 09-Jun-19 21:22:41

I get your point BiteyShark, however, when dealing with semi feral cats, this is the only treatment I can manage to administer before the cat has scarpered! Should I just leave them to suck him dry?

OverFedStanley Sun 09-Jun-19 21:35:54

I thought that it was an urban myth that Vaseline causes the tick to vomit?-

I think the concern with using Vaseline is that it takes time for the tick to fall off so animal can get tick borne illnesses anyway and also it does not die so can reattach to the same or another animal.

BiteyShark Sun 09-Jun-19 21:58:39

Fair enough Spring but that isn't the case with the OPs dog so treating e.g. killing or removing whole with special tweezers is far far preferable than running any risk of getting Lyme disease.

bluetongue Sun 09-Jun-19 23:55:19

Poor baby. So glad I don’t have ticks where I live.

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