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Can someone tell me what it looks like when a tick JUST gets on a dog?

For the past few days I've been grooming my Coke, learning to do it myself since the groomer makes him look really nice but never cuts enough off for it to be practical for a hot summer. Coke's not a GSD. He has an extremely thick coat, like a Malamute, but also has the long, sleek outer coat like a Golden. But he's black and red, colored like a Rottweiler. So I've been trimming his ears, belly, tail, pants, and feathering on his legs and then working through it with thinning shears to even it out. I brush him almost every day and he still gets tangles plus he gets so hot now I'm just trying to make it more manageable. I'm trying to avoid an actual cut or shave so I'm trimming the areas where there is more long hair than undercoat and thinning it out. Anyway, tonight was my last night working on this trim and I cut all the hair from between his toe nails and rolled him over to work on his privates area. The hair here gets very long and is more coarse so it tangles and mats easily. Obviously he loathes having this brushed. Since you can't see it, I decided to hack it all off (would shave if I had a shaver). I found a few small mats near his anus and cut all that off, plus cut everything from his penis backward. I left most of the "pants" (trimmed and thinned that), just hacked off all the hair that was dead center, the stuff that gets matted and is impossible to brush.

He was a very good sport for this and I got off what I wanted to remove, but in the process I noticed three spots right by his penis. They looked like TINY black dots under the skin, hardly inflamed. I assumed "ticks" (he IS on Frontline Plus...) so I went and got my tweezer. I picked the spots open and tried to grab what I thought were ticks but they don't *seem* to actually be bugs. I've never seen a tick on a dog or person and only know what it looks like once they've been eating and get big. The skin over top the tiny black spots scraped off easily and it was almost like a tiny scab underneath. I got a few little chunks of black, but no actual bug. I thought I was digging pretty hard, also squeezing the area between two fingers trying to squeeze out a bug, but nothing.

How can I tell if this is really ticks? I plan to have DH help me by holding Coke still for me b/c Coke kicked me in the face a few times already (he doesn't struggle against me, but always kinda flails around, even when we are just giving a belly rub), but DH is working double shifts so that would have to wait until the weekend. Would they get big by then?
 

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When i first got Ary she had three ticks on her but i could tell with all of them because they looked like bugs and moved ( sort of) after a couple months of having her she had a weird little black dot like where her leg meets her side and i tried to squeeze it and Ary yelped. It started to bleed and a little scab thing came out. She has had one more and when i asked the vet he said it was like a pimple or a blackhead sort of.Nothing to worry about. So i'm not saying that's what it is just a possibility.Hope that helps
 

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If they were ticks, there shouldn't be skin over them, since they only bury their heads with the feeding parts in the skin and leave their bodies exposed. Do you have a magnifying glass? If you do and you look closely, you should be able to see legs (gross, I know). I'm not sure what else they could be, but my GSD also has a couple "specks" in that same area that I just assumed were freckles/moles or some other type of hyperpigmented lesion.

I would just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't get bigger or inflamed (redness, swelling); but also consider putting a call into your vet just to see if he/she thinks they should be looked at.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll watch them, see what happens now that I kinda scraped and poked at the area. We were JUST at the vet last week b/c he had that bad hot spot, and two weeks before for a heartworm test, and not so long before that for a two week bought of diarrhea...

I don't have a magnifying glass, but I have a macro snap-on for my camera which works as such!
 

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It's not ticks, Lies.

Even when ticks are really tiny - like those itty bitty little deer ticks you can get when walking in deep brush in areas that have a lot of deer - you can look closely and see little legs moving with your bare eyes.

It sounds to me like this is a skin thing. I know some dogs get little black / grey "ticking" on their skin that looks almost like dirt or little ticks, but is neither. I don't know what causes it or whether it needs to be treated, though, but I have seen this on other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Phew! Only ticks I've ever seen were on me, but not IN me yet. I've got to give him a good bath (so I can blow out his coat with the air dryer) next week so I'll check on it then. We do have a lot of long grass and a woodsy area on our property, good to know the Frontline is working.
 
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