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Hi, we have a chihuahua/pug mix dog named Sammy. A couple days ago he came home from an overnight with my daughter at a friends house and seemed to be shaking his head in a fashion that led me to believe that something was IN his ear.  I looked in his right ear (the one I thought was affected) and found nothing, however, while petting him today and rubbing behind his ears, I found a deer tick just a little outside the crease at the bottom where the ear meets the head on his left ear.  I have determined that this was the cause of him shaking his head, as touching that area caused him to repeat the shaking behavior. it was so tiny (but engorged) that I almost could see it (he's also a black dog so that made things more difficult).  We attempted to remove it but he has some trust/abuse issues from a previous owner, so holding him down was difficult as well as him being black and it being so small and the area it was in.  All we had were regular tweezers and the tick exploded and basically the head and most of the body is still embedded.  Do you have any suggestions on how to remove it any easier?  Is he likely to have gotten some disease from it (as I think it's been on him for at least 32 hrs)? And any suggestions for future removals?  I intend to invest in a more "needle" tipped pair of tweezers tomorrow, but would still like to know the risks of it still being embedded and any other suggestions for the future (and in case the new pair doesn't work either. I don't have a problem when they are the regular, more common larger tick he has picked up.  Any suggestions would be greatly helpful.  Thank you for your time, sorry it was so long, and thanks for giving your time to this site.  I have found it quite helpful in the past.

First of all, there is no point in trying to remove any more of this tick. The rest of it will fall out as the skin heals. It's dead, so it's not going to do anything.

Secondly, you might want to get some tick prevention for him- a spot on from the vet or a preventic collar. They are not cheap but they work really well. I don't know where you live but Lyme disease is spreading all over the USA, and any tick on a dog is one too many.

There is no way to know if he was infected unless you take him to the vet and have some blood titers done- again, these are not cheap.

Prevention is your best bet, along with getting him vaccinated for Lymes, although I think the common thinking on this is that it's not very effective.

So get him a collar or some Revolution - anything that will kill and repel ticks. Do not use OTC brands as they not only don't work but many of them are very, very toxic.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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