We just discovered a fully engorged tick attached to the upper part of a front leg on our Bernese Mountain Dog. While removing it with a 'tick twister' (a tool sold by vets and at pet stores for removing ticks, resembling a tiny plastic crowbar) I noticed another tick attached, but not engorged, less than a centimeter away from the engorged one. I'm pretty sure these are American Dog Ticks which are not a vector for Lyme Disease. These are the fourth and fifth our dog has picked up this spring and all would have been picked up in the Shediac/Cap-Pele/Petit-Cap area.

I placed both ticks beside a dime and photographed them:

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Hello Stu,

While not a vector for Lyme Disease, the American Dog Tick is known to carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. I do not know, however, if these have been confirmed in American Dog Ticks from NB. You may wish to consider sending these specimens to Nelson Poirier (In a pill bottle with a slightly moistened piece of paper towel).

The second tick is likely a male.  The male mates with the female while she is feeding. He then drops off and dies without feeding on the final host.


Thanks for the info, Ron. That explains why the second tick was so close to the engorged one and wasn't engorged itself. I guess the male must have explored all over the dog until it found a feeding female?? Bizarre......

Yes Stu, I too find ticks bizarre and also gross and potentially dangerous, yet at the same time intriguing and thus would like to know a whole lot more about them. I have no idea how the male and female find each other, whether before or after getting on the dog.  Also note that while I suspect the non-engorged tick is a male, I do not have the expertise to confirm this.  Heck, I cannot even confirm the species, though like you, I strongly suspect that it is a Dog Tick.

While I don't particularly like the subject, I appreciate the info.

I hear you, Jo. Not having grown up with ticks I was really grossed out when I first encountered them on my early birding trips to the southern USA. Then spending much of my summers in the 1980s and 90s in Manitoba I sort of got used to checking for ticks every night and pulling them off me without getting too freaked out. But they still give me the heebie-geebies! (not sure of the correct spelling of that last technical term)

Good information, Stuart. They say that they're on the increase in Southern New Brunswick .... but I have yet to lay eyes on one.

Consequently while living in Jalisco, Mexico - I had to go to the infirmary and have them burnt off me on several occasions. I think they just dripped an alchohol solution on them to discourage the flavour, wait a moment or two and then tweezer them off.

Over the years I have been shown many techniques for removing them including touching them with a hot match or cigarette, covering them with Vaseline and waiting for them to back out to get air, etc. None of these are recommended today. Apparently it is best to just grip them as close as possible to the head and gently pull them out.

That is my understanding as well Stu.  Apparently, using techniques other than gently pulling them out by gripping them as close to the head as possible (the use of a specially designed instrument such as the "Tick Twister" makes this much easier) increases the risk of causing the tick to regurgitate its blood meal back into the victim along with any parasites and pathogens it may be carrying.

Stu, "heebie-geebies" sounds like a fine technical term to me! Piper had a tick on him before 3 months [ no Lyme Disease with that one]. A neighbor removed it, not me! We just gave the Vet $100.00 for a regular bug bite "gone bad" [found when I was checking him for Ticks] and are doing a 10 day course of "shot-gun" type ointment treatment. I have no wish to encounter more "creepy crawlers" that bite.....BUT... they are hard to avoid! I 

There are products one can get from a Vet for pets that work as to Fleas and Ticks; humans need to be aware and take precautions. Checking for Ticks is always a good idea as is proactively dressing for time spent persuing activities on the naturalist trail. 

To clarify my meaning of a "shot gun" type ointment: included in the ointment is an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and an anti-fungal. Somehow the inclusion of Antibiotic and anti-fungal in one product doesn't seem to jibe as one can inhibit effectiveness of the other but the treatment is working.

Interesting topic as I had my first experience with one of these two weeks ago in southern Saskatchewan. I had to remove one of these that was attached to me!

I found one attached to my ankle this morning. I removed it with swiss army knife tweezers, dropped in a pill bottle and stuck in the freezer - for now. At first glance, it looks like a black-legged variety. I'm not sure where it came from but I was doing lots of landscaping/gardening yesterday .... or the cat may have drug it in. Is Nelson Poirier the person to send it to currently? Mailing address? Thanks in advance .....


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