A VET is issuing advice to pet owners on how to deal with ticks.

Dave Cumber of Dorset-based Dave Cumber Vets warns ticks can lead to serious complications if they are not dealt with in time.

They can cause Lyme disease – a bacterial infection that can be experienced by both humans and animals.

Symptoms of the condition can include swollen lymph nodes, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and swollen joints, which can lead to arthritis.

Dave Cumber said: “Ticks are visible to the naked eye and can be easily detected by sight or touch.

“You will normally feel a hard, pea shaped lump on your pet’s skin particularly around areas with sparse fur and good blood supply, such as head, ears, armpits, neck and feet.

“Removing ticks quickly and properly can prevent the spread of infection.

“If you are in any doubt please come into one of our surgeries and we will assess your pet.”

Lyme disease can be detected through a blood test. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught in time.

When removing a tick, do not squeeze the pet’s body, as this can force blood back inside and increase the risk of infection. The tick must be removed in its entirety, including the head and the mouth.