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28 June 2017
A tick is a blood-sucking parasite. Ticks will jump onto dogs as they run through long grass, and their appearance resembles an oval brown or grey castor bean. They attach to the skin with very strong jaws for a few days to feed and then fall off when they have gorged themselves with blood, during which time their bodies will have increased several times in size.
If your dog has a tick, speak to your vet about how best to remove it and what you can do to prevent them. Just pulling the tick off directly can leave the mouthparts embedded in the skin, and these can cause a nasty local reaction. Ticks can carry disease, but thankfully these are not very common in the UK. Diseases carried by ticks are more of a concern if you are travelling abroad with your dog.
To learn more about troublesome ticks and other parasites see our Ectoparasites (Fleas and Other Skin Parasites) in Dogs Information Sheet.
See also our Healthcare for Pets Travelling Abroad Information Sheet.