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Parasites: Tick Facts

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Ticks are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush pass. They are eight legged and are composed of two body sections. Their highly developed mouthparts allow them to pierce a pet’s skin and feed on the animal’s blood, sometimes causing reactions at the site of attachment.
  • Ticks also have four life stages – egg, larva, nymph and adult. All the life stages except the egg require to feed on the host.
  • Ticks are arachnids – therefore they are closely related to spiders rather than insects. As a nymph within the life cycle they only have six legs and eight legs when they reach the adult stage.
  • Ticks may appear as small dark specks on your pet’s fur – these can be hard to find when they are small therefore it is important to protect them by using a preventative treatment.
  • Ticks can feed on the blood of different hosts – such as dogs, cats, birds, humans and many more.
  • Ticks have different species – ticks most commonly found on pets within the UK are Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes hexagonus. Dermacentor reticulatus and Rhipicephalous sanguineus can also occasionally be found.
  • Ticks can transmit disease to the host – they acquire disease from an infected host during feeding and can pass them along to other animals. Many diseases are transmitted after many hours of feeding.

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