How to Remove a Tick from a Horse

Two Methods:Removing a TickPreventing Your Horse from Getting Ticks

Ticks are hard, flat little arachnids that will attach themselves to creatures and embed their head in the creature's skin. The longer a tick is attached, the larger it will grow. Ticks can transmit very harmful diseases and ought to be dealt with properly.

Method 1
Removing a Tick

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    Know what to do, and what not to do. Read all of this article before attempting to remove the tick. Removing ticks can be a lengthy process, and the ticks may regurgitate consumed blood and diseases back into the horse if overly irritated.
    • Do not just pull the tick out, or the head may stay in the horse's body and cause infection.
    • Do not try to smash, twist, or cover the tick in petroleum jelly. These ways are not safe.
    • Do remove the tick by securing something around it's head and firmly pulling it away from the skin.
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    Pull out the tick, using a firm, steady hand. Do not yank. You may need to carefully clip the area surrounding the tick if the hairs are in the way. For both the string method and the tweezer method, good lighting is a must.
    • Use unwaxed string or thread. Tie a loose half-knot and slide it over the tick's body until it is just around the tick's tiny head. Add another half knot. Calm yourself and steadily pull the tick away from the horse's skin. Do not yank or jerk on the string. Keep pulling back slowly and steadily until the tick gives up and releases from the horse. This can take a few minutes, depending on how deep the tick is into the horse.
    • Use a pair of tweezers. The tweezers should have a fine, sharp point, and not be slippery. Inspect the tick for the head, then squeeze the tweezers around it. Pull out in a steady motion, without jerking or yanking. This may take some time, but keep steadily pulling away from the horse's skin until the tick releases.
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    Dispose of the tick. Ticks are hardy little beasties, and the only good way to ensure that one is dead is to seal it in a jar of rubbing alcohol.
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    Clean the equipment used to remove the tick with a gentle antiseptic, and wash your hands.

Method 2
Preventing Your Horse from Getting Ticks

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    Purchase anti-tick spray or wipes. You should be able to find these at a tack or horse health store.
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    Check your horse for ticks during each grooming. Ticks are small, so it might help to use your bare hand for checking.
    • Look for areas of itching. Horses will often scratch a spot where a tick is (or has been) because it's itchy. Also, if you see a horse scratching in an unusual way, immediately inspect the horse for ticks.


  • Don't freak out about a tick. Ticks can only be harmful to humans if you give them time to embed their head in your skin. Once you remove the tick, stay calm and keep it in plain view until you can dispose of it.
  • If you don't feel adequate to remove the tick, don't stress. Call an experienced horse friend, or even better, your vet. They should be able to help you.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Horses | Horse Health