Ticks are small biting insects with powerful jaws and a big round body compared to their head. Generally, ticks wait on grass and plants ready to bite your cat or dog as they go past. They attach firmly on to the skin and bury their head deep in the skin and feed on blood.
The main risk from the tick bites in the UK is Lyme disease, so it's important to remove a tick as soon as you identify it to minimize the risk of disease transmission.
It’s really important that the tick is removed correctly; if you disturb the feeding, it is possible that the tick will inject its gut contents in to your pet, further increasing the risk of disease transmission.
You should use a special tool called a tick hook in order to remove the ticks safely. Don’t try any of the old wives tales (burning, Vaseline, whisky) that you may hear of, they increase the danger of transmission.
As usual prevention is better than cure and your vet will have a range of tick preventatives to suit your pet. These come in the form of sprays, spot-on treatments, collars and tablets.