One in three dogs in the UK found with ticks
July 21, 2022
Any animal that plays outdoors can end up hosting a tick. In fact you might have seen in recent news that research from the University of Bristol, has found that one in three dogs in the UK is carrying a tick – and that dogs in urban locations are just as at risk as dogs in rural areas.
Ticks are unpleasant, cause skin irritation and are also difficult to remove. Simply pulling leaves the tick’s head within the skin, which can lead to disease; and there is also a risk that your pet might do this by scratching.
Fortunately, there is a correct way to safely remove a tick from your dog, cat, or other animal.
How to safely remove a tick
The easiest way to remove a tick at home is using a tick remover tool – you can pick one of these up from our practice when we re open or some pet shops and large online retailers may stock these also.
You can also take a look at The Hampshire Vet’s handy guide to removing ticks, which uses images for each step so you can see exactly what to do.
Remember, you will need a tick removal tool if you are planning to remove a tick yourself.
Learn more with our tick FAQs
What are ticks?
Ticks are oval-bodied, external parasites which embed their head into the host’s skin to suck blood. Their body size varies depending on how much blood they drink. What you see on your pet is just a small, bean-like figure stuck on the skin, either cream or grey in colour.
Where do ticks come from?
Pets usually pick up ticks from long grass and woodland areas, particularly in the summer months. Ticks most commonly attach to the face, neck, underside of the body and inside legs of cats and dogs.
What problems can ticks cause?
Ticks should be removed correctly as soon as they are spotted. If their head remains in the skin, this can lead to an abscess forming. Plus, if left attached for more than 24 hours, ticks can occasionally transmit diseases.
If I remove a tick myself, how should I handle it?
A tick remover is a small, plastic, fork-like object with a curved handle. Take a look at our guide to removing ticks, then once you have successfully removed the tick, avoid touching it with bare hands and dispose of it carefully (away from your pet).
What if removing a tick goes wrong?
Call a Vet quickly if you suspect part of the tick is still under your pet’s skin. Even if you successfully remove it, you should still watch closely to make sure the site heals and to spot any signs of illness.
For more information on the research carried out at Bristol University, visit The Big Tick Project website.