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Just found a fully engorged tick on my dog


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I was giving my dog a bath a few minutes ago and I found a big bump on her. At first i thought it was a cyst or something but when I got a closer look, I saw it was a fully engorged tick. It was right where her collar normally sits, so I'm not surprised we didn't see or feel it before tonight. I removed it with tweezers and flushed it down the toilet. It looked to me that the head was removed with it, but my husband said he coudln't tell.


I feel disgusting now and quite close to barfing all over the place.


Do I need to worry about anything in my dog? The only experience I have with ticks is when they were still very tiny and not engorged at all. This is teh first time I've seen one that fat. Will just one engorged tick make her very sick? Do we need to clean the whole house now or worry about ourselves? Any advice please?


She's not acting any differently. No changes in appetite or behavior. I'm guessing she's had it at least a week, just b/c we went walking through woods last week and I'm better she got it there (I even remember saying to my husband we can't walk her there again b/c I'm worried about ticks getting on her). I'm googling things about it now but wanted to see if anyone has any experience or advice. Thanks.


ETA: It looked just like this when we pulled it off her.

image removed

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Im the same with seeing ticks, they make me want to barf. But as long as the WHOLE tick was pulled out then she should be fine. If she starts to change her behaviour or eating considerably then consider taking her to a vet but her and you should be fine. Just check her for any more ticks.

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Yeah I just gave her a full rub down, all over. I"m going to be more mindful of it now.


How do I know if I got the full thing though? I really codln't tell. I looked on her skin but coudln't really tell there either b/c of her fur and she woudln't stop moving. But the best look I could get looked like it was completely gone. How can I be sure? What happens if something was left in her skin?

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Did you have a good look at the tick (as disgusting as it is) when you pulled it out because this is the best way to see if the whole tick is gone. As long as its head came out then it should be ok, sometimes when people pull ticks out the head stays in there and it can cause problems. Look at the area, you will be able to see if any part of the tick is still there, if not then it should be scabbing over.


I'm not sure what would happen if there was something left, i imagine she would be under the weather, if this happens then take her to a vet and explain the situation, but i think she should be ok.


Edit had a huge shock when you added that picture onto the original post, its making me feel itchy lol.

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I think I'm going to wash our bedsheets tonight...


My husband looked at it better than I did (even dug it out of the toilet after I threw it in there) and he said it looks like I got it all. I knew enough to not try to "pop" it and to grab it at the very base. It came out easily...with no fight at all. Does that mean anything?

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Should be fine...when I was younger, my dad used to have a ton of outside dogs by his house (He used them for hunting in woodsy areas) and they would occasionally get ticks and sometimes you wouldn't notice them until they were enlarged like you mentioned. But nothing ever happened to the dogs as a result of ticks and we would just pluck them off.


Ticks are creepy bugs, but your dog is most likely okay. Just be mindful of any changes.

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Haha, I hate ticks. I used to work in Road construction out in the bush, and the ticks were horrible. Was always fun to pop the bastards with a lighter. I hate them, they're disgusting. All you have to do is make sure you got the head, if the head is stuck in there still you have to take her to the vet immediately.

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My dogs have gotten a tick once or twice in the past. They never had any problems from them... I'd advise what other people have-- watch her eating and energy level. Any sudden changes, and I'd take her to the vet.


They are so gross, though. Ticks and leeches are the two things that gross me out more than anything. I have no idea what I'd do if I ever got one myself!

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I remembered this morning that last week, she was sort of playing with something on the floor and I went and looked and it looked like a smushed grape. I picked it up with a paper towel and saw it had legs. I thought it was the grossest bug ever and threw it away (it was a little bloody but I didn't think anything of it).


I'm guessing that was a tick that fell off her? What the hell is up with my damn dog? This is so gross.

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If you think a tick on a dog is gross, try having one on yourself! Yep -- I had one on me once, when I was about 11 or 12. I was at a friend's house, and we were playing on a hill behind her house (sliding down the hill on cardboard -- wheeeee!) Anyway, later that night, I was changing to go to bed, and I looked down and saw -- GULP -- a tick attached to my upper abdomen, near the top of my ribcage. I FREAKED out. I was spending the night at the friend's house, and her mother removed the tick (with tweezers), but left the HEAD in me (I didn't know it until the next day when I went home and my mom called the doctor to ask about it and he said to check to see if the head was still there -- ugh!) Sooooo...my mom got the tweezers and twisted the head around and pulled it out -- double ugh! I was fine, though the doctor did say that some ticks carry Lyme disease and something called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, neither of which are common where I live. Dogs and cats can get those too, I think, but it's highly unlikely, and I don't think the dog could've gotten much else that would put her in danger. Just keep an eye on her, as everyone else has said, and if she acts funny at all -- refuses to eat, is drinking a lot, acting lethargic, whatever...take her to the vet.


Ticks are disgusting, really. I'd rather have spiders crawling all over me than ticks, that's for dang sure!

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What happens if the head stays in? My dog won't hold still long enough for me to check. I keep feeling it. What should I be feeling for though?


Then the dog can get an infection. This would be pretty obvious. The wound will get really red, may drain pus, and the dog won't feel well at all. They may be lethargic, not eat, whimper, etc. If your dog is running around like everything is great then it's probably ok. Just watch for changes on their behavior and try to get a look at the wound when you get the chance.

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Update: I was able to get a look at sheila's bite yesterday and it ha a small, light brown scab on it. I haven't been able to get a look since, but I keep feeling it to make sure it's ok. It's a little hard, like a pebble, and the scab isn't there. She's also been sleeping a lot today but she gets like that every once in a while anyway (she changes with the weather).


Do I need to worry?

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Slight bump and a scabby appearance sounds like what I've seen on my dog from a tick bite. Just keep an eye on her. If in doubt, contact your vet. They'll probably be happy to talk over the phone with you to see whether you need to bring her in or not.

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I checked it this morning and it seemed smaller and not as hard. Still can't get a good look bc she just doesn't sit still long enough, even when she's sleeping. But when I could get a look at it, it didn't see red or pus so I'm thinking is ok.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, a little tick natural history...


It is the females who attach themselves to dogs and use the blood for the purpose of breeding baby ticks. They stay on the dog until they are fully engorged, lay some eggs, then eventually fall off the dogs by themselves and die. That could be why the tick was easy to pull out.. .it was ready to fall off soon.


But that can mean there will be more baby ticks on the dog soon, so now is the time to bath the dog in flea/tick shampoo or use an insecticide like 'Top Spot' to kill any babies.


Note that they have to get blood to breed, so they don't multiply like fleas and get in the carpet, but they will wander around looking for a host to breed on. So they will end up on the dog and can be effectively treated by using Top Spot monthly or flea/tick bathing the dog.


If you use Top Spot regularly, the ticks will die right after they bite the dog and won't get big like that. So i treat my dogs monthly during tick season to kill the buggers early.


re: disease, the dog can get a variety of odd infections/diseases from the tick, so just watch the spot for signs of infections. But they do usually get a bump and can scab from the wound so that is pretty normal. If it looks like it's abcessing or gets a strange rash (which is hard to see on a dog) then consider doing to the vet.


Some of the nastier diseases are Lyme's disease which can make the dog (or you) very ill... but you can get a vaccine for that at the vet. There are a host of other tick borne diseases but usually other than Lyme's they aren't that common.


So if you treat the dog now so the tick babies can't mature you are good. And get Lyme's vaccine for the dog, and treat with Top Spot once a month.


I've never found flea collars to be effective for ticks, and they expose the dog to a lot more pesticide than Top Spot does so i prefer the once a month Top Spot which is just a little tiny drop of the stuff on their neck once a month.


Also watch yourself for any odd rashes... that is how you tell if you've been bit by a tick and gotten a disease from them... the problem though is if they bit you somewhere hairy like on your head, it is hard to see the rash.


But there are blood tests to test for tick borne diseases if you get any unexplained illnesses (yourself or the dog). Don't mess around with Lyme disease (which may or may not be in your area) though as that is quite dangerous for both dog and man. You are more likely to get that from deer ticks though, which are much smaller than the dog tick you posted in the picture, which are about the size of pea when fully inflated... a deer tick is tiny like the lead on the point of a pencil.

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btw, if i took my dog to the vet for every tick i found (while living on a farm) it would be all summer long! If you treat with Top Spot and get vaccinated for Lyme's the dog is usually in good shape. If you see any signs of illness or lameness though after a tick bite, i would take the dog in then.


there are some weird diseases like tick paralysis where the dog literally gets paralyzed (or you) until the tick is removed... so there are usually some symptoms if the tick carries disease.


Ticks are nasty little buggers... i really hate them but they are unavoidable sometimes, but the problem is minimized by using Top Spot or similar products since the tick dies before it can inject too much poison/infection into the dog.

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