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A tick is different from a sting because the live tick stays on the body, sucks blood out, and can pass on infection.  When dogs or cats run in many areas (especially woodlands) they can pick up ticks.  There are different types of ticks, but they are treated the same. Ticks are an easy host for numerous diseases that can be passed to dogs.

Lyme disease is the most common disease that can be passed both to your dog and you.  The sooner you remove a tick the less damage occurs. If done in time, it will not get a chance to fully bite your dog.  Ticks are light to dark grey in colour. They will change colour and get larger as they suck blood from your dog.  They are sometimes described as “over-sized fleas”.

If your dog has been in a high risk area, carefully inspect them after the walk for ticks.  If you find one it must be removed.  The best thing to do is to ask your vet to remove it and show you the correct technique for removal. If you are not able to get to a vet, you will need to remove the entire tick. Leaving part of the tick in the body can lead to infection. This is very dangerous, especially for smaller dogs. 

You can buy tick-removing tools that pull from where the tick is attached to avoid breaking the body. These are fork shaped devices that lift from both sides of the tick.  If you do not have one of these, avoid using tweezers or pliers on the body; those will only break the tick in half. You need to pull from the head where it attaches to the skin.

Prevention is best, so ask your vet for the correct treatment for your pet. These can come in the form of “Spot On” treatments, powders or sprays.  Ask your vet or pet professional for local advice.