Thursday, November 3, 2011

Twist And Shout: No Dog Owner Should Be Without A Tick Twister

Speak of the devil … that's how that saying goes, right?

Just this week I was reading and discussing Dr. Nelson's post about a rescued Boxer who was completely infested with brown dog ticks. (Apparently brown dog tick is the most common tick in Arizona, where this dog was found) There must be at least fifty or more ticks on this poor dog's back!

The most common disease that comes with brown dog ticks is tick fever (Ehrlichiosis).

Up here we mainly need to worry deer ticks and Lyme disease.

Btw. all those ticks WERE removed mechanically and topical tick preventative was applied AFTER all the visible ticks were gone.

If you're wondering how to dispose of a tick, put it in a container with rubbing alcohol, that kills them.

Clearly there is a good reason behind the saying [speak of the devil], as JD came home with a tick the very next day! Gotta hate those things.

Hubby, of course, wanted to use the trusty lit match to remove it. Not a good plan.

Fortunately, after Jasmine got a tick at the ranch two summers ago, our vet gave us a product he was very excited about – the Tick Twister. It's been sitting in the truck ever since, because, fortunately, we didn't need it.

So off I went, in the dark, searching for the pouch where we kept it. I must have looked like a thief, scouring the bus with a flashlight.

I have to tell you that I am very nervous about tick removal, always worried about doing it right.

This was my first time removing a tick and it was my first time using the Tick Twister.

I love my Tick Twister!

How to Use Tick Twister® to Remove a Tick:
  • Select the correct sized tool according to the size of the tick - the large hook for medium and large ticks or the small hook for small and very small ticks.
  • Hold the handle between your thumb and index finger and slide the fork end of the tool toward the tick until it is caught between the prongs.
  • Lift the tool very lightly and rotate in either direction several (2-3) turns. You will feel when the tick has released its mouth-parts and it is safe to pull up on the tick and Tick Twister®.

Our vet told us it is the best tick removal tool he's tried. 

I was tempted to write about it then, but couldn't bring myself to review a product I didn't try.

Now, after trying it, I can tell you that whether you live in a area full of ticks, or at a place where there is just the odd one, get yourself a Tick Twister.

It removes ticks safely and it is easy to use even for such a neurotic idiot such as myself!

It's your dog's health,

Related articles:
The Ticking Bomb
Lyme Is Lame (Pun Intended)


  1. That actually looks like a pretty good tick removal tool. Most that I see look pretty feeble. I generally just use my fingernails because I got 10+ ticks a day practice for a while off my horse in the summer. There's no way to have a tick removal tool not get lost at the barn (I tried), so I just got good at it.

    Just remember that when removing ticks, you don't want to give them a chance or force them to vomit. Don't apply anything like a poison or alcohol, or use a match. Try not to bother it too much as you get ready to pull.

    Even mangling it and leaving the head in isn't as big of a deal as some people are terrified of. If it happens, just leave it be (I mean don't dig it out.) See if the body will push it out on its own. Of course put some antibiotic cream on it though. Also, most TBD generally take 24-48 hours to pass from tick to dog.

    Ticks are awful, but there's no need to be too nervous about them! A bit of dexterity with your fingernails can work just as well as a tick twister if you are without, in a pinch. Just apply the same method.

  2. Hi Serissime,

    it is pretty awesome. I was worried how easily it will get under the body around the head - gets there just beautifully. Couple twists and the tick virtually fell off.

    Apparently the 24-48 hours is BEFORE the tick actually starts feeding. (They have to "drill" down, kind of like an oil rig; and that's what takes them that long. Once in and starting to feed, the fluid exchange begins and infection can happen. Unfortunately before feeding there is no irritation and the tick is very small)

  3. I also put them in a used cup with alcohol. Just to make sure they won't replicate.

  4. thank you for the tips... now i can remove it easily