A couple of years ago we found a tick on Maxwell's neck and used a pair of tweezers to remove it. It wasn't easy to get a good grip on the tick with the tweezers and we were completely stressed out at the thought of popping it (the tick's saliva and gut contents may contain infective organisms). While we were able to successfully remove the tick intact we decided to pick up a tick removing tool to make future encounters a little less stressful. We picked up a gadget called the Tick Twister Pro at Petco for $3.99.
We used the Tick Twister for the first time the other night when we found a tick latched onto Andy's belly. It's a simple device - plastic, about 3 inches long, a handle on one end, and a notched "cup" on the other. Using it was just like using a crowbar: I slid the tick into the notch until snug, I then gently twisted the Twister and lifted until the tick came loose. The tick was dislodged intact with mouth-parts and all (you don't want to leave those behind as they can cause infection). The tick was small, about the size of a sesame seed, and I was afraid the Tick Twister would be too large to handle it but it wasn't a problem.
Using the tool takes a light hand but it made removing the tick completely stress free. Once the tick was removed I smothered it with rubbing alcohol and put it into a plastic bag (in case Andy has an adverse reaction to the bite I want to be able to show the tick to my vet). I also disinfected Andy's belly and the Twister with alcohol. I like the idea of having an inexpensive, dedicated tool for tick removal...call me irrational but I threw out the tweezers we used on Maxwell! I highly recommend the Tick Twister to anyone who has a pet (or kids for that matter!) for fast and easy tick removal. The Twister also has a hole for a key ring in case you want to have it on you at all times (unlike a tick!).
Tick Twister Pro
Available at Petco
Available at Petco