Dog Tick Bite Lump: 7 Causes & What You Should Do

(Last Updated On: August 26, 2022)

Ticks are an irritating nuisance at the best of times; at the worst, they are spreaders of disease and infection. Most of the time they won’t be too much of a trouble to your dog other than a consequential hard lump (granuloma) which will soon disappear. If it stays around for a while, however, more serious infliction may be at work. Worried about tick bump on dog? Seeing a bump on dog after tick bite? If it won’t go away, read on!

Why Does My Dog Have a Hard Lump After I Removed A Tick?

Did you pull a tick off only to find a bump? Is the tick bite on dog swollen? Dog tick bites are usually accompanied by a small inflammation.

In the majority of cases, this will subside after a day or so and isn’t something to worry about. If, on the other hand, the hard lump shows no inclination of dwindling away after a couple of days, this could mean something more severe such as an infected tick bite.

Most frequently the stubborn swelling, also known as granuloma, can be attributed to a retained tick head. This situation can easily arise if you are not careful in removing the tick; refer to the below section Removing Ticks.

If you think this is the case, the best course of action would be to take your dog to the vet, who will be able to eradicate the problem.

If the hard lump gets progressively larger after removing the tick, it is likely that the bite is infected. In this case, other symptoms such as oozing pus, a fever or lack of energy may also present themselves.

A dog tick bite infection such as this usually occurs in instances where the tick is fairly well embedded into the skin. Meaning that your dog would have had the tick for quite a while.

dog ticks

In the most extreme circumstance, swollen tick bites can be a sign of disease. They are most notably notorious propagators of Lyme disease, which, having similar symptoms, can be difficult to distinguish from an infection in its early stages. To make matters a little more confusing, a condition called Rocky Mountain spotted fever also shares some of these likenesses.

The tick’s saliva alone can be harmful to a dog. Such an allergic reaction to a tick bite will also cause further inflammation, as well as potentially a rash.

Whatever you suspect the cause of the swelling, a prompt trip to the vet is the best course of action.

Tick Bite Granuloma Treatment

It’s crucial to understand that the granuloma is the result of a nasty reaction to the tick’s saliva. You can try applying antibiotic ointment right on the part where the tick was initially stuck/attached. Try something like Polysporin, but other ointments should work fine too. I’ve also tried applying some anti-itch cream to help my dog feel a little more comfortable.

Ultimately, when a tick bite on a dog is inflamed, it’s natural for it to swell up. If it starts leaking pus or keeps swelling more, the answer is still to take your dog to a vet. The last thing you’d want is for your dog to develop a really nasty infection. Look out for other signs of infection such as lethargy and fever too. Your dog will likely require antibiotics from the vet.

Understanding Tick Bite on Dog

Ticks are a blood-sucking nuisance to mammals like you and your dog. They are arachnids that survive by burying themselves into the skin and feeding on blood. They will cling on with their mouth parts until they are fat and inflated, at which point they will fall off.

Their body will be visible during this process as a small dark hard lump that is around a few mm in size. Once they are full, they swell out and turn a silverish blue color.

They are typically found in areas of thick vegetation like woodlands or patches of long grass, which are cool and damp. Here they await a passing animal. According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation When something juicy comes along, they grasp onto skin or fur in the lower regions of its body. They will then proceed to search the body for up to an hour to find a place to burrow in.

The resulting lump on its target is a reaction to fluids that are secreted by the tick’s feeding parts. It is called a granuloma. Via these fluids, the transmission of disease of infection causing bacteria is undertaken.

Removing Dog Tick Bite

The following are the steps you should take when learning how to remove a dog tick. If you have noticed a dog tick bite, get a pair of tweezers and remove it as quickly as you can. Alacrity will reduce the chance of infection or contamination by disease.

Don’t apply anything such as Vaseline or matches to the area, as these may agitate the tick, causing it to eject its harmful fluids. Grab the tick by its mouth using the tweezers, which will be at the point where it is connected to your dog’s body to your skin.

Pinching the tick’s body may also cause the diseased bodily fluids to be injected into your dog, so try to avoid this. Once you have it by the head, don’t yank the thing out.

The tick’s mouth part is covered in tiny barbs, which can tear or be entrenched in the skin if you pull it out to quickly. It is, therefore, important to be patient; ease it out steadily. However, don’t worry too much about embedded barbs if something goes wrong, as these alone cannot transmit diseases.

Make sure that you inspect the wound area to ensure that you have managed to get rid of the entire tick. Once you are happy with your handiwork, wash it out with soap and water. Also, wash your hands. You may want to keep the tick for examination should your dog show signs of further distress. If so, make sure to house it in a well-sealed container.

Keep an eye on the bite to make sure the swelling decreases in size. If not, or if your dog is exhibiting some other unusual behaviors, contact your vet. If you are in an area where Lyme disease is especially prevalent, you may want to contact your vet straight away, as it can be treated quite simply with one dose of doxycycline within three days of infection.

A tick bite on dog lump could be put down to a few things. It is important to keep an eye on swollen tick bites, as they could turn out to be more serious than they first seem.

Try These Tick Removal Products

When it comes to tick removal, there are a few top products in the market that work best. I know the disappointment that comes with buying products that don’t end up working. I like the vet-designed Tick Tornado ZenPet Tick Remover. It helps that it’s one of the top rated products on Amazon as well and really helps you to remove the whole tick. As you know now, the problem with removing ticks is that some part of the tick can be still left stuck on your dog. This Tick Tornado does the trick.

Another one that’s quite effective is the TickCheck Premium Tick Remover. This nifty device can be easily taken outdoors and comes as a full kit with everything you need. The tick identification card is really useful as well (Deer Tick, American Dog Tick and Lone Star Tick are all different!).

The JOTOVO Tick Remover Tool does the job quite well too. It looks like a very simple tool but don’t be fooled. It’s actually very well designed and the main thing is that it simply works.

References:

  1. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/ticks-lyme-disease-dogs
  2. https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/canine-tick-borne-disease.html
  3. http//www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/pets-health/11582064/Dog-owners-warned-of-risks-to-pets-of-disease-carrying-ticks.html
  4. https://www.thesprucepets.com/all-about-ticks-1117829
  5. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/a27193222/tick-bite-on-dog/

 

6 Comments

  • Renie says:

    Hello ~ About a month ago, early May, my 9 month old puppy had a tick on her side. I got the tick off completely. But she still has a bump. She is eating and playing and is acting normal. Will this bump ever go away? Thanks.

  • Destiny says:

    Hi I just pulled a tick out of my dog yesterday 01/20/2019 and I checked today and the bump has grown larger in size and is more red! I know it’s only been a day but I’m getting worried? Is inflammation normal?

    • Leigh says:

      Hi Destiny,

      Thanks for your comment, it’s always best to contact your vet when you are concerned about your pet because tick bites can turn out to be more serious than they first appear.

  • Colleen Hollis says:

    SO I pulled a tick off my dogs neck. Pretty sure I got the head. Now over a week there’s still a bump. No rash, nor gotten worse. Butmy dog

  • Stacey DeBor says:

    We removed a tick from my small dog. I just noticed a little white hard lump, can this be caused by the tick bite?

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