Finding a tick on your pet, or especially on YOU, can be shocking. Most people are disgusted by ticks, and removing attached ticks can be worrisome... especially with all of the talk about Lyme disease these days. So, what's the best way to remove a tick safely? On today's show, Martha talks with veterinarian Peter Kross and illustrates safe tick removal techniques using the URI TickEncounter Resource Center's popular video, "How to remove a tick safely".
Smearing Vaseline on the tick or relying on other "folk remedies" for tick removal are unreliable at best and can sometimes be downright dangerous for the tick-bite victim. The University of Rhode Island's tick guy, Dr. Tom Mather recommends using pointy tweezers to firmly grasp the tick by its head, as close to the skin as possible. Then, just pull straight out. The key is to get the tick off as soon as possible without squeezing the tick's stomach or ripping it in half. If the tick mouthpart, which is smaller than a splinter, happens to break off, that's ok. The disease-causing germs are in the salivary glands of the tick, located further back in the tick's body. Pointy tweezers are a "good thing" for removing ticks safely, and www.tickencounter.org has a popular video showing how it is done.