What to do if you spot a tick on your pets

Tick removed with tick tool <i>(Image: NQ)</i>
Tick removed with tick tool (Image: NQ)

Here’s what you should do if you spot a tick on your pets.

Ticks can be active all year round, but they are mostly about between April and July, and sometimes later in the autumn.

They live in many different outdoor environments, but are particularly common in grassy and wooded areas which are common in Dorset.

Tick bites can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, so it's important to remove them straight away.

When removing a tick, make sure not you don't squeeze the tick's body or leave the head in.

If you squeeze its body or leave the head in, this can push blood back into your pet, which will increase the chance of them getting a disease.

The RSPCA advises that in order to avoid squeezing the body or leaving the head in, you'll need to twist the tick off.

‘This can be done using a tick removal tool, which can be picked up at pet shops or the vets. Your vet will be able to show you the best way to remove a tick by twisting.’

‘Don't try to burn them off or use lotion to suffocate them, as this won't prevent your pet from picking up a disease.’ Ticks will bite and feed on pets for up to a few days and drop off once they've had enough.

Ticks carry a serious bacterial infection called Lyme disease which can infect dogs, cats and humans, although it's uncommon in cats.

Symptoms in cats and dogs include: Depression, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, swollen and painful joints, swollen lymph nodes and lethargy.

If you catch it early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.