Ticks are not insects, but tiny blood sucking parasites which live in woodland and grassy areas, closely related to spiders.
They are often found in tall grass, where they will rest at the tip of a blade so as to attach themselves to a passing animal or human.
The tick will usually drop off the animal when full, but this may take several days. When feeding, ticks make a small hole in the dog’s skin, attach themselves, and insert piercing mouthparts that remove blood.
The presence of ticks is annoying to dogs and can lead to serious illnesses if not removed early.
Regular examination and grooming of pets (especially dogs) and frequent cleaning of their bedding is strongly recommended. Infested pet bedding should be carefully washed or disposed of.
The area around the pet bed should be carefully and thoroughly treated if the infestation is to be eliminated.
Ticks should be removed carefully and slowly. If the attached tick is broken, the mouthparts left in the skin may transmit disease or cause a secondary infection.
Ticks should be grasped with tweezers at the point where their mouthparts enter the skin and pulled straight out with firm pressure.
You can buy special tick tweezers from most chemists.
A small amount of flesh should be seen attached to the mouthparts after the tick is removed. Do not squeeze the body of the tick or attempt to remove it through burning or chemicals.
If a tick is removed from a human, it is worth saving it in a sealed container in case they develop symptoms later.
You can avoid most tick bites on your dog by using a preventive product such as FrontLine.