Removing ticks from a horses’ ear

When Hubby took the Gigantic Swollen Tick out of ZZ’s ear, I could tell there were more critters in there. The problem was that she was now never, ever going to let anyone grab a huge, blood sucking tick out of her ear again!

The next few days I just kept scratching the areas behind her ears hoping she would let me approach. Sure, but if I made a move she jerked her head away. I figured it might take a vet visit to get her ear cleaned out, however, thought I would first make an attempt on our own first.

Plan of attack: pinch her nose, release, give carrot. We did that a few times, then walked her away from my makeshift stocks (the length of the hitching rack on one side would prevent a sideways escape on one side, hopefully she wouldn’t jump into us on the other side…).

After several pinches of the nose, I slipped the twitch on (something she had never seen before) and held on tight. From experience, I’ve learned you can’t be kind with the pressure. If you are timid, the horse’s struggles will make it slip and then you have a pissed off horse you are trying to get the twitch back on.

Pinched, put twitch on, and once she relaxed into it, released and gave a carrot. We did that twice, let her walk away and come back, and then it was time for the real deal: twitch, Hubby covered her eye (she was still wearing her fly mask), and when she dropped her head, he went in for the ticks.

SUCCESS!!! Boy, is her ear swollen up. We ended up checking out both ears and hopefully tomorrow I can put some meds and a fly mask with ears on her.

Poor thing but she was an Amazing Sweetheart throughout it all!

P.S. she is also proving very good with her front feet, and starting to improve with the back… getting bathed some, and learning to tie for short periods of time. Lots of improvements this week.

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