What Happens If a Tick's Head Remains in a Dog's Skin?

If a tick's head remains in a dog's skin, it usually eventually emerges on its own, according to DogTime. However, in some cases the head may be carrying a disease-bearing pathogen, causing infection.

A tick can be removed from a dog's skin by pulling it free with tweezers, says DogTime. Grasping it by the body instead of the head may cause the head to come off and remain in the dog's skin. To prevent its potentially dangerous blood from coming into contact with skin, the tick should not be crushed. Instead, it should be placed in rubbing alcohol to kill it and then flushed down the toilet. Flushing alone does not kill the parasite.

Ticks are most easily found after they have already latched onto a dog's skin, reports DogTime. They range in size from the head of a pin to a ladybug. As a tick feeds, its body engorges with blood and it burrows its head under the skin, which is why the head sometimes pops off during removal.

The most common way for a dog to pick up ticks is by walking through a field or the woods, according to DogTime. Although ticks can latch anywhere on a dog's body, they are usually found between the toes or around the ears.