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Is this a tick?

Species: Dog
Breed: german shepherd mix
Age: 5-8 years
So Badger has a strange growth on the edge of his ear...I will include two pictures of the placement (with his ear flipped up) and a close up of the growth, have never seen anything like it.... it is grey and oval (vertical oval growing from the base of his ear edge).....I just noticed this evening and it couldn't have been there very long I would have noticed it before now it is so obvious...please advise!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for this fantastic photo:

tick

While I can't give a diagnosis over the internet I can tell you that I am quite certain that you have taken a photo of a tick! That's probably not what you were expecting to hear.

Ticks can stay on a dog for quite some time. It looks like this tick is engorged meaning that it has been there for long enough to feed.

The obvious question is how to get a tick off. Whatever you do, don't pull on it. If you do so, usually what happens is that the tick's body will come off and the head will stay in place. If you have access to any flea/tick spray then spraying this on the tick will kill it and you can remove it. What I do in my office is use a little plastic tool called a tick twister. I put it underneath the tick, twist it around and then the tick just comes out.

It's not a bad idea to have your vet remove this tick. They can show you how to do it in case Badger gets any more of them.

You will want to ask your vet if lyme disease or any other tick borne diseases are prevalent in your area. If so, they may want to test for lyme disease in 4-6 weeks' time. However, the chances of getting lyme disease from a single tick bite are not high.

It's not a bad idea to have a good feel all around Badger's body to see if there are any more as well!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

DR MARIE! NO I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT! We did have a tick twister and took it off, I just HOPE that I got off the entire tick (I COULDN'T WAIT FOR THE VET!)..... I enclosed another pic (The tick is moving around, is it intact?).
DR MARIE, you are on point! when I read your response I thought NO WAY can this happen, I thought I was so diligent checking my dogs! We moved from a suburb in NC to more rural NH and these ticks are unbelievable here.....but I wanted to remain holistic....so I have been using Dr. Downey's BICOM tick drops (out of Exeter NH) in their water bowl and a wipe daily that is "Vetri-Science Vetri Repel active ingred. lemongrass oil, cinnamon oil, sesame oil, caster oil" Do you have any other suggestions? Neem Oil? Thank you Dr Marie, I appreciate the service you provide, you can't imagine the shock though of how right you are!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

tick from dog

Oh yeah! You got it!

I've yet to see holistic flea or tick products that really work. The way that I look at it, if a natural product was able to kill or reliably repel fleas or ticks then we wouldn't need to be continually improving on and developing synthetic problems. Even the synthetic products often become ineffective after a few years because these creatures are so hard to take care of.

Don't forget to ask your vet about their protocols for lyme testing in your area.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.