As much as Brits welcome the summer weather, the warmer temperatures also bring seasonal bugs into our homes, gardens and on our pets.

Ticks are just one irritating bug that humans must deal with when it comes to protecting our bodies, especially as infected ticks can cause lyme disease when they bite.

But they also cause great danger to our fluffy companions as dogs are at serious risk of tick paralysis this summer.

Here are the signs all dog owners should look out for and advice on how to safely remove a tick from pets.

What is dog tick paralysis?

Tick paralysis also known as toxicity, is a “rapid and progressive” disease that effects the nerves in dogs, reports Pet MD.

It can be caused by the bite of a specific tick called the amblyomma, lxodes, and dermacentor – unfortunately, it injects a “unique neurotoxin” through its saliva.

What are the signs of tick paralysis all dog owners should be aware of?

The signs of tick paralysis usually begin anywhere from 5 to 9 days after a dog has been bitten.

“Paralysis typically starts in the hind legs, first with incoordination and gait abnormalities, and then progressing to the pet’s inability to use its legs. Paralysis is usually symmetrical, involving both legs.

“This paralysis rapidly advances over the next 24 to 48 hours to affect the front legs, muscles involved with breathing, and sometimes even the nerves in the face. Tick paralysis can be difficult to diagnose, and progression and recovery can be unpredictable,” adds Pet MD.

Clydebank Post: Although it's not a pleasant thing to do, removing a tick from your dog as soon as possible is importantAlthough it's not a pleasant thing to do, removing a tick from your dog as soon as possible is important (Image: Getty)

It’s important to note dog owners should contact a vet immediately if they notice any of these symptoms or a change in their pet’s mobility.

Other signs of tick paralysis include:

  • Facial nerve paralysis, decreased jaw tone, and eye reflexes
  • Laryngeal dysfunction, changes in bark quality and volume
  • Aspiration pneumonia secondary to laryngeal dysfunction
  • Decreased ability to breathe
  • Decreased muscle tone

How to remove a tick from a dog?

One of the best ways to remove a tick from a dog is by twisting the bug with a tick-removal device that is available to buy at most pet shops.

The Blue Cross website has offered the following steps to remove a tick:

  • Once you've located the tick, using gloves if you have them, gently part your dog's fur so that you can easily reach the tick
  • Get your tick remover and slowly push it under the tick
  • When you have a firm grasp of the tick, twist it in a clockwise direction several times until the tick comes loose
  • Take a look at your dog's skin and make sure the tick is completely removed
  • Get rid of the tick by putting it in alcohol or popping it in tissue and flushing it down the toilet before washing your hands

It adds: “You need to be careful not to squeeze the tick’s body, or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog.

“Squeezing a tick’s body can cause it to expel blood back into your dog, increasing the risk of infection.  Ask your vet for advice if you're worried about doing this.”