Ticks by Christina M. Berry BSc(Hons) PGCE MSc(R)

Ticks: Protect you and your canine buddy

Most dog owners, at one time or another would have come across a tick or two.  This short guide is designed to give tips and advice for tick prevention, how to look for ticks and tick removal. Always consult your vet or GP, especially in cases where your dog/you feel un-well post tick bite. 



Dog: The best offense is a good defense! There are a number of spot-on treatments out there for your dog that are effective against ticks, talk to your vet, they can help you make an informed decision.

You: Clothing is key! Keep those legs covered- it makes it harder for ticks to find a nice safe feeding spot.


Checking for ticks

Ticks are crafty little buggers and only 3-4mm in length, it is important to check yourself and your dog after an outing as it takes approx. 48hrs for a tick to feed fully (this gives you a approx. 24hr window to remove the tick and reduce risk of disease transmission). Ticks like warm dark places, so rub your fingers in the fur to the skin- your dog will love it!

Dog: Base of tail, between toes, arm pits, neck and around/inside ears.

You: Behind/inside ears, back of the knees but most importantly your intimate nether regions (really check well as ticks are known to favor it there!)


Removing ticks

There are a number of tools available for removing ticks, they all come with guides on how to use them BUT if you do attempt your own removal MAKSE SURE you remove the whole tick! That little sucker has its mouthparts embedded pretty deep and although most removal devices are designed to get the lot out, they are not 100% successful! Check the tick you have removed, can you see three sticky-out bits? YES? Well done its out! NO? If the middle bit is missing better see the vet/GP.



Lyme Disease

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to humans and dogs, although dogs will rarely develop symptoms.  If you find you have been bitten by a tick and you start to develop a red rash ringed around the bite site and/or develop flu-like symptoms go to see your GP.