How to remove a tick from a dog's eyelid

Written by cate burnette
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How to remove a tick from a dog's eyelid
Finding a tick on your dog's eyelid. (dog eye image by Kavita from

Many people find walking their dog a pleasurable experience, particularly during the spring and summer months when the sunshine and the outdoors beckon. If you're one of those nature lovers, finding a tick on your dog after a day on the trail can be a bit unnerving, especially when the tick is attached to a sensitive spot such as your pet's eyelid. Learning how to remove the tick entirely, without injuring your dog, means educating yourself on using the proper instruments and technique.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Disposable gloves and/or blunt tweezers
  • Jar with label
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Soap and water or antibacterial cleanser

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  1. 1

    Hold your dog's body between your legs to keep it quiet and still while grasping its muzzle in your hand to steady his head.

  2. 2

    Put on a pair of disposable gloves or use a pair of blunt tweezers to seize the tick as close to the eyelid as possible. Your dog will automatically close the eyelid as you get closer with your hand.

  3. 3

    Pull the tick out using a straight, steady, even pressure. Try not to twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause the head and mouth to stay attached to your dog's eyelid.

  4. 4

    Place the tick in a jar with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill it. Label the jar with the date and the place where the bite occurred to give to your veterinarian in case your dog develops any disease symptoms associated with tick bites.

  5. 5

    Disinfect the bite site with soap and water, and an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment if desired.

  6. 6

    Wash your hands in soap and water or an antibacterial cleanser.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't worry if you are unable to remove the mouth or head of the tick and it remains in the skin. Your dog's immune system will eventually destroy the part left behind by causing a small, nonthreatening skin infection, says Dr. Dawn Ruben of the Pet Place website.
  • Contact your veterinarian if the infection becomes an abscess or if your feel your dog needs treatment.
  • Ticks transmit Lyme disease to dogs through the ticks' saliva, so it is important that you remove any ticks you find on your dog as soon as you find them. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it commonly takes 36 hours for transmission to occur. Lyme disease symptoms include fever, joint pain and, occasionally, a rash on the belly or legs. Veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics to cure the disorder.

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