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My chiweenie had a tick behind her ear last night and this morning she scratched it off and I think the head is still in her. What do I do?

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First of all, don't panic. 😉

If you have small enough tweezers, you can try to remove the head. If that doesn't work, just leave it there.

If you have a disinfectant for dogs (don't just use anything rated for humans, especially on smaller dogs), you could try applying some of that on/around the tick.

If you really worry, you can ask your vet for advice or remove it, but the dog's body should take care of it on its own. Just keep the area clean and an eye on it over the next few days.

If there are any signs of an infection (more reddish than your typical mosquito bite or ichor) contact your vet.

Once that's all taken care of, if you didn't have one yet, look for a tick removal tool you'll be able to handle. There are different variations available - I prefer a hook you slide between tick and skin, which removes the whole tick with a slight rotation.

Overall I would advice against leaving the ticks there until they drop on their own. Once you notice once, remove it even if you notice it in the middle of the night. The longer a tick is there, the higher the chance of any infections getting transmitted, plus you might have them spread in your backyard or wherever the dog is once it falls off, too.

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  • Thank you. But what about Lyme disease? Apr 9 at 8:47
  • Or tick fever - but its somewhat obvious if your dog's sick from either. Just make sure your vet tests.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Apr 9 at 13:54
  • There are preventive treatments (as pills or topicals) that repell ticks so they won't bite. I'd advice using them regularly if you live in an area with lots of ticks. Disadvantage is that you might have ticks crawling around on your sofa or carpet because the dog brought them in but they didn't want to bite.
    – Elmy
    Apr 9 at 18:59
  • @JessicaMyers Call your vet to see if there are any locally prominent diseases and what to look out for. But I'm general, the tick is dead already and with most of it gone I'd consider it very unlikely for an infection risk to increase any further. This is basically like a syringe where the back half is missing, but the front is still stuck in the body.
    – Mario
    Apr 10 at 6:16

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