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Ticks in cats and dogs

Ticks are wingless bloodsucking insect-like creatures that feed on warm-blooded animals and often transmit infectious diseases. They bury their head into the skin to suck the host's blood, and can grow to many times their normal body size through feeding.

Your pet is most likely to come into contact with ticks when they venture into woods and fields. The ticks climb up to the tips of grass and wait for a host (like your pet) to pass by so that they can attach themselves and burrow close into the skin. They have a special sensor that allows them to detect heat, odours, humidity and movement so that they can detect the presence of a potential host.

What are the Symptoms?

Ticks can be found anywhere on your pet's body (usually in areas where there is less fur - most commonly on the face and front part of the body or under the belly) and they appear like a big wart or beauty mark.

If you find that your pet has ticks, we strongly urge you not to pull them off yourself - the chances are that the head will be left behind under your pet's skin. Instead, bring your pet to the surgery and our nurse will show you how to use a tick remover and advise you on tick treatments. As ticks transmit infectious diseases, as well as causing local skin reactions, it is vital that ticks are correctly removed.

Please contact your branch surgery for more information or to book an appointment for a free health check.

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